Just heard an interview on National Radio with Josie Bullock, the Corrections employee dismissed over going to the media about a sex discrimination issue. She was very antagonistic and confrontational during the discussion with a the host, and from her personality I can understand why she acted the way she did. Putting aside the "whistle-blower" aspect of her dismissal, the crux of the matter for her and the ruling the Human Rights (tribunal?) made was that the way in which she was treated at a Maori ceremony/meeting was sexist. But I'm not so sure.
I've been at Maori ceremonies/meetings where the men have to stand at the back, and I didn't feel it was sexist or that I was being discriminated against because I was a male. Gender roles are assigned in these matters, but I don't think anyone there felt it was a problem. Then again Bullock is the type of person to have her hackles raised easily, while most people do not.
Her issues seemed to be that she had to sit where she didn't want to AND that she could not speak because she was a woman. Only the latter complaint is important as far as I'm concerned. On that score the department should (and I beleive may have) change its policy. Mixing the official procedures of government with Maori tikanga needn't be a hassle, but if you want authenticity then it becomes problematic. Surely there's a type of protocol that can work for everyone?