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Exclusive: Questions raised about job given to Plunket CEO Amanda Malu's daughter

Plunket has faced a storm of protest from parents over a controversial restructure that transferred money and assets out of small communities and into a central national fund.

Plunket has faced a storm of protest over a controversial restructure that transferred money and assets out of small communities and into a central national fund. Source: 1 NEWS

It's also under fire for paying large salaries to head office staff.

Now 1 NEWS can reveal new questions about a job given to chief executive Amanda Malu's daughter.

Mameroa Munn has been working for the charity since 2015 in marketing and communications.  Her LinkedIn profile says she graduated from the University of Auckland that year with a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies and Psychology.

Last year Plunket advertised for a population health advisor – saying the ideal candidate: "will need a current NZ nursing practicing certificate or post graduate qualification in primary health care speciality nursing...or a professional recognition pathway for nurses ...or a social sciences, public policy degree or similar."

Ms Munn got the job in January. But Plunket won't say if she has got the relevant qualifications.

In a statement, Plunket's Chief People and Transformation Officer Liz Barton said:  "As a responsible employer we do not discuss individual employment matters. We do want to say that the employment process for this staff member followed best practice rigorously.  Plunket's Chief Executive had no role, at any stage, in the employment process."

Plunket wouldn't answer further questions about the employment process or make further comment.

Blair Scotland of Dundas Street employment lawyers says this kind of situation is uncommon.

Speaking generally, he said: "In terms of the public sector organisations it is very important that they advertise what the role is and keep to the parameters of what role is - for a private organisation less of an issue."

He added:  "Ultimately if the lower level decision makers are beholden to that person for their pay increases or career prospects references if they were to leave - there is always going to be an implicit power relationship going on there - it is always best practice to removes themselves from the decision making."

Plunket receives 77 per cent of its funding from the taxpayer. Minister of Health David Clark would only say it's an employment issue for Plunket.

Mr Scotland said: "If you are an organisation that is reliant on both government contracts and both donations from the public transparency is key."