Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Workplace safety in New Zealand – have we got it right?

Workplace safety in New Zealand – have we got it right?

- The Public Sector Journal looks at the formation of WorkSafe New Zealand

The newly created Crown agent, WorkSafe New Zealand, which starts operating on 16 December, faces a daunting and important task. The recent deaths in the forestry industry serve to underline the task ahead for the new agency.

An article in the Institute of Public Administration New Zealand (IPANZ) Public Sector Journal (December issue) asks, can WorkSafe NZ deliver? It looks into the establishment of the agency following recommendations of the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety, which was itself a response in part to the 2010 Pike River Mine disaster.

The article includes interviews with Gregor Coster, the Chair of the WorkSafe New Zealand Board, Geoffrey Podger, acting Chief Executive of WorkSafe, Glenn Barclay, Council of Trade Unions, Julian Hughes, Executive Director of the Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum, and Felicity Lamm, Associate Professor of Employment Relations, Auckland University of Technology.

The article raises important questions about the establishment and functions of WorkSafe New Zealand such as:
· The board was appointed by the Minister – is there a willingness to run the new agency on a tripartite basis, with government, business and unions all playing their part?

· One major issue is the need to boost the number of inspectors – from about 100 now to a target of 200. How will they be appointed and trained without placing undue burden on existing staff?

· Will WorkSafe NZ have the independence and leadership role it should? The policy development on health and safety and the issuing of regulations has stayed with MBIE. And funding of workplace harm prevention programmes will be held as a joint pool, together with ACC, and used only if both agencies agree – they may have different priorities.

· How will WorkSafe NZ achieve a wider culture change around health and safety – balancing regulatory and education roles, and developing codes of practices in workplaces?

· How will WorkSafe NZ measure success?

Comment from Labour Minister Simon Bridges and Labour Party spokesperson for Labour Andrew Little is included with the article.

Public Sector journal is published quarterly by the Institute of Public Administration New Zealand (IPANZ). Through the journal, IPANZ promotes informed debate on issues already significant in the way New Zealanders govern themselves, or which are emerging as issues calling for decisions on what sorts of laws and management New Zealanders are prepared to accept.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Anzac Issue Out Now: Werewolf 47

Alison McCulloch: Lest We Remember

Local iwi have plans to spruce up the Te Ranga site as part of the 150th commemorations this year of key battles in the “New Zealand Wars”, but not a lot of money to do it with.

Information gathered from numerous government agencies shows that while more than $25 million is being spent on monuments and commemorations relating to foreign wars, primarily World War I and its centenary, only around $250,000 has been set aside for those fought on our own soil. More>>

Anne Russell: Anzac Day - Identity Politics, With Guns

Even cursory research into media reports from the past forty years reveals a cultural shift in the commemoration of Anzac Day. Among other things, turnout at Dawn services has increased significantly in recent decades.

Contemporary numbers are estimated at 3,000-4,000 in Wellington, and 10,000-15,000 in Auckland. Newspaper reports from the 1970s and 80s estimated Wellington turnouts at 300-800, and Auckland at anywhere from 600 to 4,000. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Spookwatch: New Inspector-General Of Intelligence And Security Appointed

Prime Minister John Key hasannounced the appointment of Cheryl Gwyn as Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. The appointment was made by the Administrator of the Government on behalf of the Governor General and is for a term of three years. More>>

Crowdsourcing: Green Party Launches Internet Rights And Freedoms Bill

The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand’s first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Shane Jones Departure

Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the track. More>>

COMMENT:

Multimedia: PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference - April 22 2014

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • The recent improvement in the economy with a growing job market • Income and wealth inequality • Easter trading laws • The New Zealander killed in a drone strike in Yemen... More>>

ALSO:

Easter Trading: Workers 'Can Kiss Goodbye To Easter Sunday Off'

The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. More>>

ALSO:

ACT Don't Go For Maximum Penalty: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail

Three strikes for burglary was introduced to England and Wales in 1999. As in New Zealand, burglary was out of control and given a low priority by the police and the courts. A Labour government passed a three strikes law whereby a third conviction for burglaries earned a mandatory three years in prison... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home. More>>

ALSO:

Elections: New Electorate Boundaries Finalised

New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news