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Safeguard Magazine

HASANZ : A professional view—Raising the bar!

PHILIP ALDRIDGE reflects on the recent HASANZ conference, the launch of a scholarship programme, and progress with the register.

It was clear from the start that this conference was going to be different. To quote one delegate, the opening song from Wellington’s Faultline Chorus was “eye-wateringly beautiful”. MC extraordinaire Peter Biggs welcomed us, in poet Lauris Edmond’s words, to “the city of action” where “you have to do and be, not simply watch”. Take 420 people fizzing with anticipation and throw in HASANZ-coloured liquorice allsorts – the place was abuzz.

We were whipped into action by Wellington’s wind and grateful to harbour inside Te Papa for two days of conversation on hot topics, pulse-lifting energiser sessions and heart-warming presentations from our four international keynote speakers.

Each one drew us into their world of expertise with their personal stories – the why behind their commitment to workplace health and safety. And then each shared the how – real life examples, tools, case studies, a framework and people-centred approach that has made them standout exponents of professional practice.

Dr Julia Norris challenged professionals to see health and safety issues from different perspectives and to ask for input across relevant disciplines to inform better solutions.

Dr John Green challenged the plausibility of Zero Harm as a goal. Geoff McDonald challenged leaders to share their personal stories of mental ill health (not necessarily their own, but people they are close to).

Eldeen Pozniak challenged health and safety professionals to measure up to INSHPO’s Occupational Health and Safety Professional Capability Framework.

Our local keynotes were equally inspiring and provocative – Steve Carden insists that all Pāmu Farms workers wear bright safety gear, even in clean green marketing campaigns. Richard Wagstaff called for an end to management shoulder-tapping H&S representatives. Phil Parkes earned applause when he announced that Safety II champion Daniel Hummerdal is joining WorkSafe. Choosing between 24 concurrent sessions kept up the dynamics, assisted by double shots from two very busy coffee carts.

This was all made possible by many exhibitors and our generous primary sponsors: WorkSafe, PwC, ACC, Skills, Fonterra and MBIE.


At the official opening of the conference the Hon. Iain Lees Galloway launched the HASANZ Scholarship Programme, an initiative to help build the capability and capacity of the professional health and safety workforce.

Starting this year, HASANZ is awarding scholarships annually to encourage people already working in health and safety to upskill to a diploma or degree, and to also encourage postgraduate study in workplace health and safety.

HASANZ Scholarships include up to $5000 per year towards full or part-time tertiary study, for up to two years, plus practical experience and mentoring.

The HASANZ Scholarship Programme fund has close to $250,000, thanks to the foresight of its inaugural sponsors including Fonterra, KiwiRail, Air New Zealand, Z Energy, PwC, Safe365, SafetyApp.Pro and Treescape.

Applications for HASANZ Scholarships for 2019 close on 26 October. If you know someone who would like to make the next step in their health and safety career, please point them to the HASANZ Scholarships information and application forms on the HASANZ website.


Not only will HASANZ Scholarships steer more people towards a career in H&S, they will assist them to gain the qualifications required to list on the HASANZ Register. We had an influx of people joining immediately post-launch and are getting new applications through regularly.

Initial feedback is that the HASANZ Register is working well. It had more than 3000 visits in the month following its launch. Charles de Lambert was among the HASANZ Registered Professionals who contacted us about the quick hits his listing scored. “I knew the HASANZ Register would become a key resource for business to seek out and find health and safety practitioners,” Charles reported, “but I was surprised to be contacted by three new businesses wanting a consultant the first week the HASANZ Register was open.”

The HASANZ Register isn’t just of value to consultants. There are benefits for employees being listed on the Register too. For instance, a recent job advertisement specified that “HASANZ Register registration is desirable (or the ability to work towards this)”.

It’s great to see the HASANZ Registered quality mark on business cards, email signatures and LinkedIn profiles – a right that is well and truly earned.

It’s a busy time for HASANZ, with three big initiatives under our belt. With your help, we’ll continue to build capability across the workforce health and safety sector and raise the bar for professional standards.

Philip Aldridge is executive director of the Health and Safety Association of New Zealand.

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