Interns sit down with Minister Ian Lees-Galloway
12 December 2019
The health and safety summer interns had the opportunity to meet the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety for the second year.
Hon Ian Lees-Galloway sat down with this year’s cohort of interns to talk about health, safety and wellbeing in New Zealand. Minister Lees-Galloway spoke about how the Government and its agencies need to set the example for other companies, businesses and the private sector, so that all New Zealanders feel safe at work and most importantly go home safe.
The Minister was very interested in hearing from the interns and answering their questions. The questions posed by the interns ranged from whether there was any thought around formalising mental health leave in the same way as sick leave, to the impact Pike River had on the health and safety system in New Zealand and the Government’s 10 year Health and Safety at Work Strategy 2018-2028.
Ray Smith, Government Health and Safety Lead and Director-General MPI, said that he was very impressed by the depth and complexity of the questions the interns asked.
“The interns were obviously genuinely interested in the questions they were asking, and made the most of the opportunity to sit down with Minister Lees-Galloway and hear his opinions.”
Annie Rattray, intern at Kainga Ora, never thought she would have the opportunity to sit down with a Minister, especially so early in her career.
“I thought it was pretty great that the Minister took the time to meet with us and was genuinely engaged with us and the questions we had.
“I appreciated how open he was to not only hearing our questions, but how thoughtfully he answered them. Getting to hear about his own journey and vision for workplace health and safety was really interesting and useful as someone new coming into the public sector.”
The interns have already been busy on their internship; not only working on projects within their agencies, but also attending sessions with Kensington Swan and Impac to learn about the Health and Safety at Work Act and risk management respectively. In the New Year they will have the opportunity to visit a NZDF site, Haywards Substation and Corrections’ National Learning Centre, amongst other sessions.
You can find out more about the Health and Safety Summer Intern Programme here.