Today’s release of the Review of WorkSafe New Zealand’s Regulatory Functions in Relation to Activities on Whakaari White Island further underscores the need for the Government to increase funding for the agency tasked with keeping New Zealanders safe at work, says Richard Wagstaff, President of the Council of Trade Unions.
“The loss of life and the trauma and injuries sustained during the Whakaari White Island eruption were tragic, and it’s important that we learn from what went wrong that day so that people can be better protected in the future. We owe it to those who lost their lives, and those who still struggle with the lasting effects of the eruption, to learn those lessons.
“It’s encouraging to see Worksafe accepting the finding that there were significant shortcomings in implementation and enforcement of rules designed to keep people safe. It is right that Worksafe takes responsibility for these findings and look to improve their systems and processes for the future.
“But today’s findings also show the urgent need for Government to increase Worksafe's funding to do its job. More funding and more resources will allow Worksafe to better protect New Zealanders at work, and to be more proactive about identifying and mitigating risks to workers’ health and safety. More funding will save lives.
“Every New Zealander deserves to know that when they go to work, they will come home safely to their family at the end of the day. Our Government must prioritise funding the agency that keeps all of us safe at work,” says Richard Wagstaff.