Presidents Blog 11/8/21

By NZISM Secretary


A week ago Selena Armstrong (our CEO), Mike Cosman (our Board Chair) and myself attended a briefing meeting with the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, Hon Michael Wood. This sounds simple, although belies the fact that these events are important occasions for NZISM. We are more frequently having discussions at Government level and this speaks to our growing role, and acknowledgment of our participation in the health and safety conversation. Not only are we seeking engagement, we are becoming more and more heard with progress being made in a number of areas.

We took the opportunity with our time with the Minister to cover some key areas. One of which is supporting health and safety representatives through a competency framework. This aligns well with our current activities and will help to provide reps with a more articulated pathway into the health and safety profession; particularly important for those interested in starting the health and safety journey.

We touched a bit on the accreditation of the WorkSafe Inspectorate, and what this might mean for them along with the benefits of the Inspectorate being part of a membership. We also had an excellent discussion on the opportunity to work much closer with WorkSafe. Individually we have regular engagements in terms of consultation and communications with our local connections. However there is an opportunity to increase the level of collaboration to help the success of WorkSafe’s campaigns and objectives, and to assist us in understanding their intent and direction. We also see a connection in providing WorkSafe with opportunities to learn from the profession and test solutions for New Zealand workplace health and safety risks. What this will look like is still in the formative stages.

Lastly, we raised a discussion regarding the regulatory reform work. MBIE also attended the briefing, and gave us an indication that we should see some movement in this area. You can keep track of their progress by registering your interest.

We all found Minister Wood to be very interested in our feedback, supportive of NZISM, especially in how we might work together better. Already we have follow up meetings and work in progress as a result of our discussion. So watch this space!

If you wish to contact me, please do so by email at

Ngā mihi

Robyn Bennett