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Port of Tauranga Strongly Rejects MUNZ Allegations

22 February 2012
Port of Tauranga Strongly Rejects MUNZ Allegations

The headline article in the Bay of Plenty Times today says that accidents occur at the Port of Tauranga and are not reported for fear of casual employees being blacklisted and not offered future work.

Port of Tauranga strongly refutes this and believes that the sources that made these allegations are attempting to discredit comparisons between Ports of Auckland s and Port of Tauranga s productivity achievements.

The Ports of Auckland dispute (which involves the same union making these allegations against Port of Tauranga) is centred on an attempt by Ports of Auckland to bring their productivity levels up to those achieved at Port of Tauranga.

The Union has been maintaining that such comparisons are invalid and that productivity levels achieved at Port of Tauranga are at the expense of health and safety. We are aware that the Union has been accessing Port of Tauranga s health and safety statistics through ACC in an attempt to validate their claim. This information does not support their contention as the port s safety record is one of the best of all New Zealand ports and is less than half of the ACC s all port average.

We understand that the total number of lost time injuries at the Port of Tauranga over the financial year ending 31 March 2011 was less than 20% of Port of Auckland s.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, says It appears to us that the Union is now maintaining that the safety record is compromised by casual staff feeling intimidated over the reporting of accidents. Such allegations are conveniently unsubstantiated and are made under the cloak of anonymity. If such concerns were valid, why were they never raised directly with the Port?

MUNZ have never before been scared to come forward with matters of concern. It is our belief that they are seeking maximum publicity over a spurious claim in order to advance their position on the current dispute with Ports of Auckland. We are working with all Unions and service providers at the Port of Tauranga to collectively improve health and safety with the objective of providing a zero harm work environment.

We have regular Port Users Health and Safety Forum meetings where health and safety issues are addressed. MUNZ are an active member of this forum which provides an obvious platform for them to bring forward matters of concern.


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