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Auckland Art Gallery's incoming director accused of workplace harassment in Canada

Auckland Art Gallery's incoming director is being investigated by a Canadian Human Rights Commission, for alleged workplace harassment.

Gregory Burke is due to take over as director at the gallery in the first week of April. 

He's currently the CEO and executive director of the Remai Modern Art Museum (previously called the Mendel Art Gallery) in Saskatoon, Canada, where he has worked since 2013.

Canadian Network CBC News is reporting the complaint being looked into by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission is from a woman Mr Burke worked with during that time. 

She has not been identified and her allegation has not been proven in court. 

CBC News says the commission document it has obtained does not detail the specifics of the allegation being investigated.

When 1 NEWS called Mr Burke to get a comment today, he said, "I cannot take this call."

The investigation raises questions over Mr Burke’s planned start at the Auckland Art Gallery.

His appointment to the role was announced in December.

Chris Brooks, chief executive of Regional Facilities Auckland, which runs the gallery, said at the time, "Gregory is as passionate about New Zealand art as he is about his home town of Auckland."

In a statement Mr Brooks told 1 NEWS that Regional Facilities Auckland is aware of the reported investigation in Canada.

"However, out of consideration for privacy and any due process that may follow, RFA will not – as in all cases of this type – be making any further statement," he said. 

Mr Burke’s current employer, Remai Modern Art Museum, said in a statement, "We do not comment on human resources matters."

Before moving overseas in 2005, Mr Burke was the director of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth.

The New Plymouth District Council today confirmed there were no complaints made about him during his time in that role.

Auckland, New Zealand - December 16, 2014: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki. It's the principal public gallery in Auckland that has the most extensive collection of national and international art in New Zealand.
Auckland Art Gallery. Source: istock.com