GHSL Update April 2019

Welcome to our first update of 2019. 

A lot has happened since our update in October last year, including an independent review of the GHSL function leading to the decision to extend through to November 2023.  We also had another successful sector conference and have moved the team over to MPI.

Many of you will know that Vince Arbuckle stepped into a secondment at MPI in February, but will continue to have oversight of the group. Tina Paterson has stepped up to lead the team as Director, Government Health & Safety Lead. Tom Boderick, Matt Campbell and Kate Nicholls are still on board and we’ll be reviewing our longer term resourcing needs in the coming weeks.

Government Health and Safety Lead extension

We are pleased to announce Public Services Commissioner, Peter Hughes, has requested that the Government Health & Safety Lead (GHSL) extend through to November 2023, aligning with Ray Smith’s term as Director-General, Ministry for Primary Industries.

The decision aligns with the findings of a recent review of the GHSL conducted by Deloitte.  The review confirmed the value that the functional lead has brought to chief executives and their agencies, as well as key stakeholders’ general support for a continuation of the initiative.


You can read an overview of the findings here.

We are now in the process of developing a four-year strategy and work plan for 2019/20.

Health & Safety Representatives’ Conference

Thanks to everyone who was involved in our Health & Safety Representatives’ Conference on 4 April.  The conference was a huge success and built on last years’ conference with almost 600 people in attendance.

Congratulations to Maria Fidow from the Ministry of Justice who was the winner of the overall Health and Safety Representative of the Year, and to the other five finalists, Nikki Mapp from NZ Police, Louize Beniston from MPI, Summer Liu from MBIE, Frans de Groot from the Department of Corrections and Cara Jonkers from NZTA.

undefinedAt the conference we launched a pocket guide for Health & Safety Representatives (HSRs). The pocket book is a great quick guide to the roles and responsibilities of the HSR, and provides some ideas and tools for engagement with staff and leaders.

You can view a printable version of the pocket book on our website.

Move to MPI – New Contact Details

The GHSL team are now based at the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and are in the process of transitioning administrative support and technology over. With effect from 1 May our contact details will change to:

GHSL Email:

Phone: 0800 HS LEAD (0800 47 5323)

2019/20 Health and Safety Summer Intern Programme

Information regarding our 2019/20 Health and Safety Summer Intern Programme will be out soon as we seek expressions of interest from agencies who wish to take on an intern. The 2018/19 programme was a huge success, with 21 agencies taking on 22 interns.  Several interns have already secured health and safety roles. If you are interested you can find out more about the programme here.

Field Trips

The next two practitioner field trips are planned for May and June.

The first field trip is for our health and safety professionals based in Auckland and will be hosted by New Zealand Customs.

New Zealand Police will be hosting a Wellington based field trip soon – more details on this will be available soon on the events page of our website.

Health & Safety Workforce – Recruitment Support

Over the past eighteen months, we have developed a good understanding of the health and safety workforce that presently supports sector agencies. We can use these insights and our networks to assist agencies in recruitment of health and safety staff. This can be as little as using our website to promote a vacancy, but we can also provide more extensive support such as facilitating the provision of selection panel members from across the sector. We can also assist in enabling reference checking

If you would like to find out more about how we can support you with recruitment contact us at

Performance Measurement and Benchmarking - SafePlus

The GHSL has committed to supporting SafePlus as the standard for health and safety performance within the public service and state sector.
SafePlus is an assessment framework and tool developed by WorkSafe New Zealand, ACC and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.  It provides organisations with independent ‘how to’ advice for improving health and safety.

SafePlus delivers:
1. Assurance on health and safety
2. A unique ‘kiwi’ focus that is developed for New Zealand and sponsored by the regulator, WorkSafe New Zealand
3. A benchmarking analysis of your agency’s performance compared to others in the public service.

More information on SafePlus can be found on the SafePlus website.(external link)

HASANZ and WorkSafe H&S Professionals Pipeline Project

The Health and Safety Association of New Zealand (HASANZ) and Worksafe New Zealand are co-funding a Health and Safety Professionals Pipeline Project. The project aims to understand the current capability (knowledge, skills, experience and pathways to practice) and capacity across multiple health and safety disciplines. This will inform recommendations that will ensure the health and safety disciplines can meet expected demand for services in 10 years’ time.

If you would like to contribute the survey you can do so here.(external link)

The survey will be open for three weeks, closing on 26 April.

If you have any questions please contact Helen Parkes on or 021 833 377. The findings will be released later in the year.