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Hip throw to the lions

Written By: - Date published: 9:01 am, April 24th, 2015 - 38 comments
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I agree with Mike Hosking – the Hip Group cafe owners are also losers in the fallout from John Key’s ponytail-pull fetish. But not for the same reasons as Mike. From their own comments, it seems they threw their employee to the lions for utterly selfish motives. I’m delighted to hear that their waitress has been swamped with offers from other cafes her present owners betrayed their responsibility for trust and confidence. 

What we know from Glucina’s story  in the Herald is as follows:

  • Hip owners Jackie Grant and Scott Brown told Glucina that Bailey had “strong political views.”
  • they were disappointed she went public rather than come to them directly with her concerns. Given their statement that “The Prime Minister is a regular at Rosie and he’s well loved amongst the staff. He always comes in with his wife Bronagh and his security detail, and the staff are always happy to accommodate them” that is hardly surprising.
  • “she did not make an official complaint – she said nothing to us.” But she did complain to her manager in the cafe, who  should have either stopped Key’s behaviour or reported it to Grant and Brown or both. That’s what managers are for.
  • their concern was for the image of their cafe

What we know from the waitress’s post is that:

  • in good faith, she agreed to meet with her employers to address  the speculation that they failed to take appropriate action to protect her in her place of work.
  • They asked to meet with her at their home and join a conversation, via speaker-phone, with a “concerned friend” of theirs who worked in Public Relations.
  • Their friend, Rachel, was concerned with how seriously this would effect their business, and wanted a better understanding of the situation, so that, together, they could proof and agree upon a statement to be released to the media by her  employers themselves.
  • Out of respect for my employers, and what seemed like their genuine concern for my well-being along with the future of their business  they introduced me to Rachel, by name as the employee behind the story, and Rachel said she would put together a statement for us to proof.
  • As we waited for Rachel to e-mail the draft proof one of my employers read aloud to the other Rachel’s e-mail address. It began… RACHEL.GLUCINA and alarm bells went off.
  • I questioned my employers over her name and they admitted that, yes, she works for the New Zealand Herald, but she was doing this as a favour for them for their personal use and not in her capacity as a journalist.
  • everything about this felt so so wrong.
  • Rachel contacted them again and we expressed that I felt extremely uncomfortable with the discussions that had taken place as any comments I had made were made in confidence and good faith under the understanding that I was discussing an employment issue with a public relations specialist and had absolutely no knowledge whatsoever that the person my employers had requested I speak with, who was so determinedly trying to put the word “political” in my mouth
  • I later contacted my employers reiterating that I revoked any permission to use my photo or comments for any press release, and my disappointment that I had been mislead to such a gross degree whilst having my identity knowingly confirmed with the New Zealand Herald at the same time.

So Jackie Grant and Scott Brown supplied the “political” word, that their employee did not use, for Glucina’s article. The waitress considered that Jackie Grant and Scott Brown mislead her as  their employee to a “gross degree” and the effect of this was that Glucina was able to obtain her name by subterfuge and the have it  printed in the Herald.

That appears to add up to a gross breach of an employer’s duty of trust and confidence. I’m not surprised their employee is seeking legal and union advice. That’s why I’m also glad she has been swamped with offers of employment from other cafes.


38 comments on “Hip throw to the lions ”

  1. Amanda Bailey joins a small but growing troop of young New Zealand women who shine.

    They make us proud.

    • Chooky 1.1

      +100…she has refused to be cowed….she has refused to be silenced

      ….she has stood up for her dignity and the dignity of all women and people

      …she has fought to safeguard her right to her physical space and body…to keep them from unwanted intrusion and violation

    • rawshark-yeshe 1.2

      Brilliant and brave Billingsley and Bailey … experts on how to survive against the worst John Key can throw at you. Kia kaha … and thank you.

  2. ianmac 2

    Interesting. One of the political strategies in recent years is to swamp an issue with a vast mountain of information and mis-information so that the people get confused. When Mike isolates and identifies the main elements of an issue like this, he is doing us all a favour.
    And since the Brown Grant couple are not fronting for this it leaves me with a contempt for their apparent role in self-protection.

    • Ex-Hipgroup-manager 2.1

      As far as I am concerned I am disgusted with the article. Scott Brown Cheated and left Jackie Grant with a cafe manager not so long ago and to , 1st of all appear to be happy families with the staff member when they aren’t even talking is bad enough but to proceed to throw the poor girl to the trap of a journalist is possibly the worst thing an employer could do. As an employer you should nurture and care and protect your staff, but alas no, Brown being the man ( i use that term lightly as he is anything but) he is puts the $ before the person. They Preach that they are no1 in looking after staff but I believe this whole affair shows the company in the true light it really is in.
      I left because I couldn’t stand what this man did to his life partner, and this completely vindicates my feelings about it all, he is a Bully just like Key and nothing more.

  3. shorts 3

    you’ve missed the part that Glucina’s brother works for the hip group – so they knew exactly who she was and where her outpourings of vile goes – me thinks this poor woman was setup

    These employers deserve our collective condemnation!

    • linda 3.1

      any crowde funding yet so we can support this girl to go after her employers and the herald

  4. Maui 4

    I think it’s pretty clear the employers care more about their social circles and personal image than the welfare of their employees.

  5. Whateva next? 5

    Clarity emerging, yes, characters of these owners consistent with other National Party reptiles. Need to put a sign up outside to warn people

  6. BLiP 6

    Hip owners Jackie Grant and Scott Brown told Glucina that Bailey had “strong political views.”

    We don’t really know this. What we know is that’s Glucina wrote.

    Don’t get me wrong, there’s little doubt that Jackie Grant and Scott Brown held up their worker as a sacrifice to the inner sanctum of the John Key Dirty Politics Machine. Had they consider the worker’s situation it would have been abundantly apparent that what she required was not to be lured into a covert MSM sting.

  7. dukeofurl 7

    Heres a list of their cafes and such

    Kohi Corner;
    The Café, The Store, The Bar

    Waihi Beach Hotel Eatery and Store

    Takapuna Beach Café & Store

    Rosie Café

    Matua Road Farm


    Richmond Road Café

    The Store at Britomart


    St Heliers Bistro & Café

    The Diner at Britomart

    Provenance Eatery & Store


  8. Ron 8

    That makes it easy to ensure I never patronise any of them

  9. Stickler 9

    When you consider what must have been at the top of their priority list for the day, it would have read: “Preserve the custom of the Prime Minister as one of our clients.”

    All their subsequent decisions proceeded from that first goal.

  10. venezia 10

    Well……. I usually visit at least two of those eateries when I’m in AKL. But no more. They are on my blacklist if that’s how they treat their staff!

  11. whateva next? 11

    The Guardian have now picked up the appalling NZH behaviour towards this young woman, hanging her out to dry.

  12. esoteric pineapples 12

    In my experience in dealing with café owners on a professional level, they tend to be of two types. The “straight” ones who are the majority are petite bourgeoisie who usually work hard themselves but also expect a lot of their staff. They are working side by side with their staff so there is a certain informality but at the end of the day are completely dominant in the relationship when any wages and conditions are discussed and they usually have their way. I think this waitress may have been a little deceived by the informality of her relationship with her bosses and being a young person. I am always wary of this type and although our exchanges may be apparently friendly, I’m always on my guard.

    The others are the genuinely cool and usually slightly alternative ones who seems to have a genuinely good relationship with their staff.

  13. Tracey 13

    lets not forget they employ glucinas brother henry whose cv says nothing about building moral and respect for employees.

    key is still calling this hijinks and horseplay. why hasnt he been asked about tge fondling not tugging of female childrens hair?

    i note key promises to change his behaviour in public… star struck parents beware…. just cos you like key doesnt mean him stroking your daughters hair is alright.

  14. Sable 14

    Good to hear this girl can move on and find decent employment. As to those who have tried to vilify her, they are of no consequence. Sounds like most of NZ knows this too….

  15. Colonial Rawshark 15

    Gawd some of these business owners are really ham fistedly stupid with poor judgement.

  16. Hateatea 16

    With so many businesses to run, they were more than likely seldom at the cafe at the same time as Amanda. It would be the duty manager at the time who would see the incidents and may or may not have told other supervisors or either of the owners. That is the extent of the latitude I am prepared to allow them however. They must have known that Rachel Glucina is an employee of or contractor to the New Zealand Herald and should never allowed Amanda to be ‘interviewed’ without her being able to have a support person or legal advisor present. They have failed in their duty of care.

    I have absolutely no sympathy for them at all. They are not the ‘victims’.

    • Treetop 16.1

      Did the cafe manager really not say anything to the owners?

      I find there to be no difference between an official complaint and a verbal complaint to the manager, a complaint to management is a complaint.

      • Hateatea 16.1.1

        I agree with you. All I was trying to say, albeit perhaps not clearly enough, that an organisation with as many sites to manage as Hip Group has, probably doesn’t interact a lot with individual wait staff. Also, there may be several people who act as supervisors / managers over any given day / week and it is possible that the incidents were not passed up the line. I am giving the owners as much wiggle room as I am prepared to grant them as to why they say that they were unaware of Amanda’s concerns prior to the blog post.

        What they did afterwards, to me anyway, is unethical and unsupportive of their employee(s) and very self serving.

        They most certainly are not ‘victims’.

        • Treetop

          Hip group’s management (inparticular their complaints process) is now under the spotlight.

          • Maui

            I can just see that complaint process going down. An almighty quagmire.

            Duty Manager: “Look, we have a problem customer who keeps abusing/harrassing a staff member.”

            Owners: “OK, ban him from the store.”

            Duty Manager: “It’s the Prime Minister…”

        • logie97

          They appear to have known this employee well enough to be aware of her political views – according to reports anyway

  17. Vaughan Little 17

    seeing people in media, social media and the public respond to this affair makes me really proud to be a new zealander. this is open society at its best.

    it does surprise me, however, that the harassment went on for so long. sexual harassment is so common that I would have thought any company would have policy around it: harassed staff being required to report any incidents involving touching, and management being required to act on it. if there are any business owners out there I’d be interested to hear how they approach this stuff…

  18. logie97 18

    Product placement gets everywhere these days.
    The first bit of product placement wasn’t very subtle – Key’s wine labels in the recent cafe shambles was one.
    But did anyone notice the cap the cafe proprietor was wearing? Carefully positioned to hide his eyes in one picture. Wonder if they might get reimbursed for that?

    On the other hand it might just simply have been a gift from Key on returning from one of his rounds with his mate in Hawaii and it was being worn just to show that, “We are with you John on this one.”

    • Ex-Hipgroup-manager 18.1

      If you knew anything about Scott Brown you will know that he has no ability to have eye contact with people if he is having a serious conversation, he either looks at the floor or his phone..

  19. Ex-Hipgroup-manager 19

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11440614 case in point, look how smug the two owners look in the last photo. poor girl . hope she gets what she deserves out of it all. good luck to Amanda

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