Support in adversity

By NZISM Secretary


Kia ora koutou katoa members and supporters,

The past fortnight in Auckland has been difficult for many, particularly those in the construction industry. On behalf of all of us at NZISM I extend our condolences to the whanau and the colleagues of those who tragically lost their lives in the workplace shooting in Auckland’s CBD recently.

While I won't comment on the incident itself, what I will say is that putting safeguards in place to protect people from armed offenders is not necessarily an easy undertaking. In my role on the Business Advisory Group for the Crowded Places Strategy, we work collectively across industries to share and support the work the Police are doing to educate people regarding how they can make their workplaces safer. I encourage you to visit their website to find a range of resources to support this mahi. Using some of the tools such as the self-assessment form, security assessment form and suggestions on creating an Escape, Hide, Tell plan will put some control into the hands of owners / operators / managers and leaders. This may help ease some of the increased anxiety in your organisations because of the Auckland incident.

I want to acknowledge how the profession has stepped up behind the scenes to support those involved in this tragedy. What often goes unseen is the mahi in the background, we don’t shout from the rooftops about the work we do, and the way in which our members support each other to navigate tough times and difficult situations. However, in this instance I want to share that our OHS Professionals with experience of workplace incidents involving firearms, have stepped up to offer guidance, support, and resources to those working through this process. It is humbling to see the openness of NZISM members when it comes to learning and sharing your experiences. I am often impressed by you.

It is times like this, when people are experiencing tough circumstances and I see the willingness of members to support each other, that the value of professional associations is reinforced. Being able to rely on proven, experienced professionals to assist you through tough moments in your career is invaluable. Thank you to all those who offered support and thank you to those who reached out for help. We want this community to be a safe place where you can depend on the experience, knowledge, and professional guidance of your peers when it's most needed. After all, that is what we're here to do.

Kia kaha,

Selena Armstrong