Income tax not paid for worker at Darleen Tana-linked bike shop – lawyer

A former worker for the business at the centre of allegations against a former Green MP has now discovered his income taxes went unpaid, according to the man’s lawyer.

The Greens on Monday announced MP Darleen Tana had resigned from the party, but remained an MP, after their independent investigation into allegations of migrant exploitation at her husband’s e-bike company.

Tana later released a statement saying she did not accept the report’s findings, and that it misrepresented the level of her involvement in her husband’s business.

It will be up to Tana whether she remains in Parliament, unless the Green Party uses the party-hopping law to forcibly remove her.

Green MP Darleen Tana

The Greens have long been ideologically opposed to that law, but co-leader Chlöe Swarbrick told RNZ today all options were still on the table.

Employment lawyer Alex Kersjes is representing two workers – Nick Scott and Charles Simpson – in a case against the bike shop, and told RNZ’s Midday Report Simpson had just discovered his income taxes had gone unpaid.

“We’ve discovered this morning that Mr Simpson’s tax hasn’t been paid – his PAYE earnings haven’t been paid,” Kersjes said.

He said Tana and her husband should reflect on the report, own up, and pay the money they owed to the workers.

“Mr Scott’s owed over $30,000 and we don’t have exact figures on the tax yet from Mr Simpson,” he said.

“We’re going back years now where we have employees who have not been paid their wages, and we’ve got Mr Scott … his claim still has not been paid and now Mr Simpson, we have to now engage in a process to secure the tax that should have been paid to the IRD.

He said the workers were not surprised Tana had not resigned from Parliament.

“Certainly Mr Simpson’s first comment yesterday when the report came out was that he did not believe she would resign on the back of this, and he’s certainly been correct so far.

“I suppose she didn’t really have much of an option when it came to resigning from the Green Party. What we’re disturbed about and concerned about … is the fact that she’s still not taken accountability.

“Yesterday when we saw the news that Rachel Burt’s report was in line with what we’d been saying and confirmed the same, certainly our clients felt very pleased and vindicated.

“We’re disappointed that it’s carrying on and we just would love for some closure and for this to finally be at an end.”

Two other former Bikes & Beyond workers are at the centre of an alleged migrant exploitation case, and have filed claims with the Employment Relations Authority.

The Bikes & Beyond store connected to the Darleen Tana inquiry.

Nathan Santesso is an advocate for Santiago Latour Palma and another former employee who wants to remain anonymous. He said the two men were not interested in whether Tana resigned from parliament – they just wanted the money they claim to be owed.

“They’re not really that focused on that, and they weren’t focused on her resigning or anything like that. They just want to get their entitlements, and their wages,” he said.

“We’ve got an ongoing process with the Employment Relations Authority. That’s what they’re focused on.”

However, Santesso said he and the workers had read the review. He described it as “pretty accurate” and said its summary of findings reflected two men’s version of events, which they were “relieved” to see.

RNZ’s attempts to speak with Tana have been unsuccessful, but the MP on Monday provided a written statement saying she did not feel “natural justice has been followed”.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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