2024 Health and Safety Rep of the Year Finalists and Overall Winners

The finalists for the 2024 H&S Rep of the Year Awards and this year's winners.



Introducing the Waikato Health, Safety, and Wellbeing Team

Nominees: Cathy McNally, Kelsey Toombs, Alex Kalnins, Tofeeq Ahmed, Tuheitia Pihama, Colleen Herbert and Mata Turner

The Waikato Health, Safety and Wellbeing Team at Kāinga Ora – Kirikiriroa / Hamilton Office have demonstrated exceptional commitment to worker engagement, participation, and representation through their innovative Step Challenge campaign.

By listening to the workers at the Kirikiriroa / Hamilton Office and recognizing the need for increased physical activity and improved health habits among staff through the winter months, the team initiated a Step Challenge campaign. The campaign was designed to encourage movement and improve physical and mental wellbeing.

Led by Kelsey Toombs, Cathy McNally and Alex Kalnins, the team organized the Step Challenge, ensuring that all staff felt comfortable participating, regardless of fitness levels. The challenge aimed to increase awareness of how daily steps could significantly improve health and wellbeing.

From 14th to 31st August 2023, the Step Challenge engaged everyone in the Kirikiriroa / Hamilton Office. Communication about the challenge was widespread, utilizing various Health and Safety channels, including meetings, poster boards, emails, and team channels.

The team organized participants into teams and provided daily encouragement and support. They went above and beyond, organizing walking meetings and excursions to encourage extra steps. The commitment of the organizers and participants was remarkable, with 80 out of 88 people actively participating in the challenge.

The Step Challenge fostered a sense of community and teamwork among staff. Over the 18 days of the challenge, a total of 10,057,954 steps were recorded. Since the challenge, many participants have continued to increase their step counts, engage in walking meetings, and participate in walking events.

The Step Challenge resulted in significant improvements in fitness levels, increased team camaraderie and ongoing healthy movement events. It also won the Annual Kāinga Ora Health and Safety Award for "Best Employee Engagement Initiative – Team Based" for the Central Region in 2023.

In Summary - The Waikato Health, Safety and Wellbeing Team's Step Challenge initiative demonstrated outstanding commitment to worker engagement, participation, and representation. Through their innovative campaign, they improved the physical and mental wellbeing of staff and created a strong sense of community and teamwork within the office.



Stephen Mackle, nominated by the Ministry of Social Development, serves as a Case Manager at the Timaru Service Centre in the Southern Region.

With 15 years of dedicated service as an H&S Rep, Stephen is an integral part of the Southern Region’s Health & Safety group.

In addition to his role as an H&S Rep, Stephen is the Chairperson of the site Health & Safety Committee, Chief Emergency Warden for the Aoraki Building (which houses multiple agencies), and the local PSA Delegate.

He is known for his commitment to creating a safer work environment, innovation, fostering collaboration and building strong relationships across agencies.

As Chairperson of the Health & Safety Committee, Stephen has facilitated increased cross-agency collaboration and awareness of building processes within the Aoraki Building. He has strengthened health and safety practices, improved regulatory compliance and ensured consistency of resources and signage.

Stephen’s dedication and achievements were recently acknowledged when he was named the Overall Winner of MSD’s annual H&S Rep Excellence Awards for 2023. His nomination for this Award underscores his continued commitment to the health, safety, security and wellbeing of his colleagues and peers in the Southern region.


Bev Norris, with ACC since November 2000, has been a passionate advocate for health, safety, and wellbeing throughout her career. In her current role as a Monitoring Specialist in the Accredited Employers Team based in Alexandra, she continues to prioritize employee safety and wellbeing.

When ACC introduced hybrid working arrangements in 2022, Bev adapted her health and safety representative role to fit the new environment seamlessly. Despite being based in Alexandra, she serves as a Health and Safety Representative (HSR) for both Alexandra and Wellington sites, ensuring safe and healthy work environments for all.

Bev actively participates in working groups and encourages her colleagues to take leadership roles within health, safety, and wellbeing initiatives. She has led the development and review of Health and Safety Action plans for both the Alexandra and Wellington sites, identifying specific initiatives to enhance employee safety and wellbeing.

Bev implements creative ideas to increase engagement in health, safety, and wellbeing, such as daily quiz catch-ups and wellbeing activities during team meetings. Bev creates a safe and welcoming environment where team members can share concerns and successes.

Some of Bev's initiatives include creating an H&S Rep Sharepoint page for easy communication between representatives, implementing a Health and Safety representative buddy system and providing defibrillator training. She ensures managers are prepared for emergencies by training them as backup fire wardens and encourages employee participation through a health and safety initiative box.

Bev's dedication to health, safety and wellbeing, along with her innovative approaches, makes her an exceptional role model, recognised by both her team and her manager.



Aaron is an exceptional Health & Safety Representative (H&S Rep) who has demonstrated remarkable dedication and leadership in promoting health, safety, and wellbeing at the Department of Corrections National Office.

As a H&S Rep, Aaron consistently fulfils his obligations by investigating complaints, identifying risks, and providing recommendations for improvement. He actively participates in Health and Safety Committee meetings, ensuring that staff concerns are addressed, and feedback is provided.

Since assuming the role of H&S Rep, Aaron has made health and safety a visible priority within the team. Through various communication channels, including team meetings, newsletters, emails, and presentations, he ensures that everyone is well-informed and actively involved in promoting a safe working environment.

One of Aaron's notable achievements was leading the successful participation of the team in the 2023 ShakeOut drill, including coordinating remote participation for those working from home. His proactive approach to training and preparedness has equipped the team with the necessary skills and knowledge to respond effectively to emergencies.

Aaron's leadership includes actively seeking pragmatic solutions to improve safety and wellbeing, such as facilitating the introduction of blankets into the sick bay area at National Office, ensuring the comfort of any staff seeking medical support.

As a H&S Rep, Aaron consistently fulfils his obligations by investigating complaints, identifying risks, and providing recommendations for improvement. He actively participates in Health and Safety Committee meetings, ensuring that staff concerns are addressed, and feedback is provided.

Aaron's presence and dedication have earned him the respect and admiration of his colleagues. His proactive approach, combined with his passion for health and safety, makes him an invaluable asset to the National Office team.



Christine Davis, a Health and Safety Representative (H&S Rep) at Fisheries Observer Services, Ministry for Primary Industries, has been instrumental in enhancing health and safety practices for observers.

Elected as a H&S Rep in 2021, Christine has become a trusted advocate for her fellow observers, bridging the gap between them and the Leadership Team.

As current chair of the Observer Health and Safety Committee, Christine ensures that observer safety concerns are effectively communicated to the Leadership Team.

She also actively participates in the wider Fisheries New Zealand Management Health and Safety Committee, providing valuable recommendations on health and safety matters.

Christine played a key role in developing various initiatives, including the re-development of the Observer Induction Training Course and the creation of an Observer waterproof Health & Safety pocket guide and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guide. These resources have been instrumental in helping observers manage risks at sea and respond to emergency situations.

In addition to her H&S Rep duties, Christine is a founding member of the "Salty Sisters" network, providing a safe space for female observers to share experiences and raise issues. When concerns were raised about the suitability of PPE for women, Christine researched and identified more female-friendly options, resulting in the selection of lightweight, waterproof over-trousers that have been well-received by observers.

In late 2023, Christine took on the role of coordinating the Observer Services Pre-Placement Health and Safety Process. In this capacity, she ensures that all vessels are assessed, risk assessments are conducted and appropriate controls are implemented before observers are deployed.

Christine's dedication and leadership have significantly contributed to the improvement and confidence in Observer Services' health and safety practices.


Jacob "Hutch" Hutchison, Hazardous Subs Certification & Training Officer at the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), has shown exceptional commitment and leadership in health and safety.

Hutch consistently demonstrates genuine care for the safety of himself and his team, ensuring that safety is prioritized at all levels, unhindered by hierarchy.

During his time in the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), Hutch worked in the Ohakea Paint Shop, where he identified significant safety issues related to the integration of personal protective equipment (PPE). He proactively investigated these issues and identified a more suitable style of hearing defenders that integrated comfortably with respirators, minimizing airborne risks and ensuring better communication among workers.

Moreover, Hutch identified a hazardous substance, strontium chromate, used in aircraft industry paint primers, and raised concerns about its buildup in the Paint Media Blasting Bay. His proactive approach led to a large-scale cleanup of the contamination and a review of practices to prevent future incidents.

Hutch's courage in raising safety concerns demonstrates his genuine care for his colleagues. He is not afraid to stop work when necessary and engages in respectful conversations to address unsafe practices and identify health and safety concerns.

Supported by colleagues and the NZDF Directorate of Safety, Hutch's nomination is well-deserved. His commitment to health and safety practices at the worker level makes him an exemplary leader and a valuable asset to the NZDF.



Hinemoa Winterburn, an Advisor Partnering for Outcomes at Oranga Tamariki, is an outstanding Health and Safety Representative (H&S Rep) who has made significant contributions to promoting health and safety within the organisation.

As an elected H&S Rep, Hinemoa demonstrates exceptional leadership and dedication. She leads weekly drop-in sessions for H&S Reps, ensuring that all staff have a solid understanding of health and safety practices. Hinemoa's expertise and passion for health and safety were recognized when she was invited to speak at a national H&S Rep Forum, where she shared her experiences and motivations.

Hinemoa plays a crucial role in updating office policies, ensuring that they are easy to understand and follow. She ensures that health and safety remain a priority during staff meetings, delivering her messages in a way that is engaging and empowering.

Hinemoa undertakes numerous activities for the Whanganui Oranga Tamariki Health and Safety Committee, contributing significantly to its objectives.

Hinemoa's dedication to health and safety goes beyond her role; she is currently self-funding her way through a Graduate Diploma in Health and Safety Management. Her passion for health and safety is evident in her ongoing education and her willingness to support her colleagues.

Supported by her peers and the H&S Team, Hinemoa's nomination is a testament to her outstanding contributions and commitment to ensuring a safe and healthy work environment for all.