By NZISM Secretary


Hi to all members and supporters of NZISM, welcome to the last newsletter and update for 2018.

It’s been interesting and also somewhat unfortunate to watch the media over the last few weeks with the few scenarios that have played out in New Zealand including the controversy over the Pride Parade, the issues with the Auckland Santa Parade and the decisions made by some organizers of Christmas parades about how they have allowed some floats to be portrayed.

What if anything has this got to do with health and safety you might ask, well there is certainly a direct link with the recent promotion over many weeks and months about how we treat people. A few months ago, NZISM stated in the media that workplaces should create a culture of kindness in an effort to reduce the risk of bullying behaviours that are experienced in some places, similar comments were made by other commentators.

I really liked the article in the recent Safeguard Magazine outlining the work of Hailey Feilo who in her Master’s programme studied the use of the Pacific cultural concept of talanoa in an attempt to better engage with a Pacific Island workforce. This method being one where the building of relationships and understanding of individual backgrounds and heritage through story telling is the pathway to facilitating trusting, inclusive and participative relationships. This is an approach that helps with groups who view questioning those higher up the hierarchy in an organisation as disrespectful. In this ever developing and diverse country we live in we need to be more mindful of the varying cultures that exist in our workplaces and communities and work towards a culture of Manaakitanga (kindness) and create workplaces that are not only diverse, they also aspire to be environments where inclusiveness and belonging are central themes in how business treat their most important asset, their people.

It has also been heartbreaking to watch what appears to be an ever-repeating story of tragedy that seems to occur every year in the run up to the end of the year. A number of fatalities have occurred around the end of November and early December and these are clearly sad and tragic outcomes for all involved, where many use this time of year to spend time with family and friends. I’ll use this forum to once again encourage you all to support your employers, clients and their workers to ensure that health and safety at work is front of mind over the remaining weeks in 2018 and during the back to work period in 2019.

On a different and more positive note now I would like to provide a brief update on where we have got to with the development of the organisations rules. You will recall we recently had member agreement to change the governance and leadership structure and phase 2 of this project is to draft the rules to match up with these structural changes. At the end of November, with the help of an independent facilitator, representatives from the Operations Committee and Advisory Board gathered to start creating the framework around key issues that needed to be written into the rules to reflect the above-mentioned changes. During this process we looked at the following:
Once drafted these changes will be sent out to members to be voted on at a specially convened Special General Meeting. Notification of this meeting will be sent out in line with requirements specified in the existing rules.

The announcement of the winners of the HASANZ Scholarship is set for the 11th December and I would like to congratulate all of the successful applicants and wish you well for your future studies. With over 100 applicants for this programme it has really proven there is a need and want by those working across the health and safety professions for access to health and safety education opportunities, I know HASANZ has plans for creating a bright future for this scholarship programme which will give ongoing opportunities for our wider HASANZ membership to follow their chosen educational pathway.

On the 13th December I will be attending the presentation of the Government Health and Safety Lead Scholarship and following that the release of the long-awaited Work Health and Strategy. For those of you that contributed to the submission process either in writing or face to face during the road show, I know you have all been waiting for some time to see what changes have been made to the strategy.

Finally, I would like to wish all our members, supporters and sponsors a happy and restful time over the next few weeks when many will be taking a break and spending time with family and friends.

Nga mihi nui

Greg Dearsly

If you wish to contact me, please do so by email at president@nzism.org