Health and safety in construction | IMPAC health and safety

28 June, 2018  |  News

Positive change is coming to health and safety in construction thanks to a new pan-industry body that represents all parts of the sector. This is what acting Construction Health and Safety New Zealand (CHASNZ) chief executive Jon Harper-Slade told Safeguard.

CHASNZ will replace the existing Construction Safety Council and will take over ownership of ConstructSafe, the safety competency assessment programme, subject to the approval of the Construction Industry Council (the current owner of ConstructSafe).


bart anestin 100992 unsplashThe new body is well placed to deliver positive change in the construction industry. Photo by Bart Anestin on Unsplash.


Who’s on the board?

The make-up of the board members shows their intent is serious. Under the chairmanship of former McConnell Dowell managing director Roger McRae, CHASNZ has appointed a 10-member board, from a diverse range of backgrounds, who are all powerful heavy-hitters in their respective industries. They (and the sectors they represent) are:

  • Civil and Infrastructure Contractors – Steve Killeen (CEO, Downer NZ)
  • Commercial Building Contractors – Rick Herd (CEO, Naylor Love)
  • Residential Building Contractors – Nigel Smith (Managing Director, Milestone Homes)
  • Small and Medium sized Contractors – Graham Burke (Chair, Specialist Trade Contractors Federation)
  • Government – Nicole Rosie (CEO, WorkSafe New Zealand)
  • Unions – Richard Wagstaff (President, NZCTU)
  • Public Sector Client – Shane Ellison (CEO, Auckland Transport)
  • Private Sector Client – Susan Huria (Director, Ngāi Tahu Property)
  • Consultants – Darryl-Lee Wendelborn (MD, Beca NZ)
  • Independent – Francois Barton (Executive Director, Business Leaders’ H&S Forum)


About the board

To ensure the new appointees will be appropriate representatives, Harper-Slade says the group responsible for establishing the board spent a lot of time talking with people from across the sector: “we have a board whose members can speak and make decisions on behalf of their part of the sector, which makes CHASNZ well equipped to deliver change.”

Safeguard also reported that, as the former GM of the Construction Safety Council, Harper-Slade says he will soon be participating in a recruitment process for the role of permanent chief executive at CHASNZ but has been appointed to an acting role in the interim to ensure an ethical and transparent process.

“The important thing is to establish a permanent organisation that will be a really effective health and safety leader in our sector. At the moment the differing standards and systems that small contractors, in particular, encounter in their work can make it really hard for them.

“We’re keen to provide some alignment and consistency in the way health and safety standards are applied and implement some simple standards that people will understand.”