President's Blog 2/9/20

By NZISM Secretary


Kia ora koutou to all members and supporters of NZISM. All good things come to an end. As I write this I am in the last few days of my term as President of NZISM with Robyn Bennett stepping into the role at this year’s AGM on the 9th September. I wish her every success and I am looking forward to following the development of the organisation with Robyn as President. With NZISM still in the early stages of its new management structure, there are many opportunities for growth and I am keen to follow how we, through you our members, contribute to the improvement of New Zealand’s performance in health and safety at work.

The “good thing coming to an end” that I refer to is personal. Holding the President role has created opportunities to think about my own growth through targeted professional development including having access to events that contribute to my own CPD not only in the health and safety space, but also in leadership and more broadly around the running of an Incorporated Society. Along with this has been the chance to meet people whom I wouldn’t normally have met across business, government and incorporated society’s both in New Zealand and Internationally. To that end I would like to thank everyone for trusting in me to hold this role.

I have been reflecting on some things that have happened over the last few years that are now shaping the wider health and safety system. Here are some of my thoughts:

Finally, the Health and Safety Profession. It is absolutely correct to say that technical health and safety competence needs to remain the platform on which wider skills are built. Recently at the HASANZ AGM Julian Hughes, GM of Strategy and Risk at Z Energy and inaugural Chair of the BLHSF said “The mana of health and safety professions lies in our technical expertise. However, the role of technical experts will be amplified by being courageous enablers, leading conversations with management on how to move to better work including better health and safety”. I believe there are a number of essential skills needed to build courageous enablers who can lead conversations and contribute to organisational success. These skills include active listening; understanding; curiosity; empathy; vulnerability; and developing cultural intelligence along with a level of business acumen. With these essential skills under your belt you can create trust and start to influence members of the workforce - at all levels- into achieving improved health and safety performance.

I would like to thank all of those who have supported, guided, and mentored me in this role over the last four years.

Kia ita, kia tapatahi, kia tau
Be committed, be fair and principled, be relaxed

Ngā mihi

Greg Dearsly