NZISM's priorities for the coming year

By NZISM Master account


Kia ora koutou to all members and supporters of NZISM. Most of you reading have renewed your membership; thank you and you won’t regret it. We are going to do some great things together this year. Some of you reading haven’t yet pushed the button to rejoin; I have to warn you that you’re about to exit your grace period at the end of May. What that means is that you will lose access to NZISM’s array of member benefits and will need to pay a rejoining fee. After a year, you’ll forgo your accreditation status. Don’t lose out. I know that money may be a factor for some of you; please contact us to discuss possible payment options if this is what’s holding you back.

I’ve had the privilege of attending most of the Branch AGMs held so far and have more in the coming weeks. I’ve sat in on some great conversations about plans locally and heard how we can support the branches better. I’ve appreciated the passion and good ideas that members have bought to these.

I’ve also been able to outline some of NZISM’s priorities for the coming year and want to share our thinking on these.

Law reform
Our first priority is to make NZISM members’ voices heard in the law reform process this year. As the people who work to improve health and safety all day every day, your insight is crucial to improving the law.

My sources suggest that we should see a consultation document and a regional roadshow coming in June and we’re getting ready to respond. I also want to arm you with information to assist you in engaging with the process when it comes to your town.

I’ve had the privilege of analysing your replies to our survey on the law, regulations and system. We received more than 1,300 responses including thousands of detailed comments on how to make things work better. I’ve been deeply impressed by the thoughtful responses and the deep knowledge they reflect. We will share our write-up of the results with NZISM members in the next 2-3 weeks.

Member experience
Our next priority is to continue to provide a great member experience. I’m excited about the slate of upcoming branch events and national webinars and further plans afoot. I am reading Greg Smith’s new book, Proving Safety, and think we’re very lucky to have him leading our roadshow, to take a deeper dive into the ideas within it. Along with a great way of stripping health and safety back to what really works, Greg is one of the best writers I’ve read on health and safety law. His roadshow will be excellent.

I am also committed to kicking off some short and long term work to improve member experience by improving our systems. Elements of our systems are not state-of-the-art and this can make interacting with NZISM harder than they need to be (for you and for us). We’re thinking about some short-term fixes to common problems and longer-term how we can improve the systems underlying membership, events, mentoring and more. Watch this space for more information.

Three months into my role, I’ve heard a lot about how our accreditation system may need more flexibility. I’m very interested in how we can improve our membership system so long as we can do it without diluting quality and standards.

Our third priority is reform of NZISM’s Governance structures. NZISM has changed significantly over the last 10 years and our Governance structures need to evolve to keep pace with these changes. We also need to ensure that we comply with the new Incorporated Societies Act 2022.

We are planning to consult you on a set of changes to our governance structures over the next year. We will outline the direction of change and seek your feedback on these, first informally via the newsletter and events and then formally at our AGM in September. Your feedback will then inform a new draft constitution which we intend at this stage to bring for your endorsement at a special general meeting in April 2025.

We will also recruit for a number of Board positions over the same period (including seeking a new President). More to come on this process and these roles but start thinking about whether you might be interested in applying.

It is also likely that we will bring a proposal regarding membership fees to the September AGM (for implementation in the new financial year). NZISM has been prudent and disciplined with members' money but it has been a long time since NZISM changed its fees (8 years) in a high-inflation environment. A majority of members supported a possible increase in last year’s members survey but I am also interested in talking to you about what more we could do to improve member experience next year if we had a modest increase.

We have a lot of exciting work to do together this year. Can’t wait to discuss it with you.

Ngā mihi

Jeff Sissons