There are many murmurings on the Wellington grapevine about managers on powertrips ... It seems to me right now that this may be the most likely reason for JS's sacking. (Although I remain open to changing my mind.)
Nonetheless, it's a very bad look for NIWA management politically. Given the current political context, they are going to have a hard job quelling talk of similarities between 'our Jim's' predicament and that of the other outspoken Jim in the United States.
The reasons for the sacking aside, perhaps an important question to ask at the moment is - will the net result of Jim Salinger's sacking be to reduce the quality or quantity of information on climate change that the general public receives?
If it does, then in some ways it doesn't matter
whether that's what the people who sacked him intended or not.