Pollett v North Harbour Table Tennis Assoc

In June 2012 nine juniors Victor Pollett, Bryn Lindsay, Liam Young, Jefferson Wong, Momo Miura, Vibhas Sofat, Tianyi Yu, Nicholas Lin and Kane Lu paid North Harbour Table Tennis (NHTT) $310 each to pay the Ascot Vale Motor Lodge, Christchurch for accommodation during the 2012 Junior Nationals. Andrew Palmer was the manager for these nationals.

Prior to payment players had been informed by John Stapleton, General Manager NHTT, that they would be returned the $310 if the Association was successful getting a grant for players motel costs.

Shortly after the June 2012 Nationals Andrew Palmer, a member of the NHTT executive, passed on a letter from Juniors regarding allegations of bullying by John Stapleton towards juniors. Juniors allege NHTT never responded to the formal complaint regarding bullying. 

Andrew Palmer was then banned by North Harbour Table Tennis. Andrew had been a trusted volunteer at NHTT for 20+ years, and was on the executive. Andrew claimed the misconduct charges were  untrue. Andrew alleged the charges were laid only as a result of his raising formal concerns about the management.

After the bullying complaint the Juniors allege John Stapleton told them the grant had been lost; so they couldn't get a refund.

In December 2012 the legal transcript of Andrew Palmer's misconduct hearing shows Andrew Palmer asking why North Harbour Table Tennis had not returned the money yet to juniors, Jack Stapleton, NHTT President, stated the players had not been refunded as the grant was at risk.

In Andrew Palmer's 2013 legal appeal to Table Tennis NZ Andrew alleged that Jack Stapleton lied in this meeting when he said the grant was at risk. Andrew provided evidence showing the grant had been paid and accounted for 6 months earlier. Andrew provided evidence showed Four Winds Foundation stated they were not aware of the grant ever being at risk.

in April 2013 Andrew Palmer raised a formal complaint alleging injury due to deliberate negligence while Andrew & Victor were training at North Harbour Table Tennis stadium. This formal complaint was not responded to.

Andrew Palmer won his appeal against North Harbour Table Tennis ban in whole. Table Tennis NZ over turned the ban against him. North Harbour Table Tennis was instructed to mediate over Andrew's $10,000 legal costs.

Over the next 3 years, despite formal complaints the juniors were not refunded.

North Harbour Table Tennis was subsequently disaffiliated from Table Tennis NZ.

In 2016 the nine Juniors wrote to North Harbour Table Tennis on more than one occasion requesting a refund, which was ignored and then refused.

In 2017 the nine Juniors raised a dispute with the North Shore District Court.

The 8th June 2017 decision of the North Shore District court Disputes Tribunal was that North Harbour Table Tennis was in breach of their agreement by failing to refund the juniors and by attempting to use the grant funds to offset other costs.

North Harbour Table Tennis was ordered to refund the nine Juniors the full amount of $310 each ($2,790) by no later than 22nd June 2017



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Victor Pollett,
Jun 20, 2017, 2:01 PM