Safety inspectors payout cost $1.1m

Last updated 05:00 04/03/2014

Relevant offers


The danger around John Key's visit to Iraq was exaggerated - David Shearer Carl Worker announced as New Zealand's new ambassador for counter terrorism Bloomin' heck: Government departments spend $600,000 on flowers Education Minister overrules ministry's advice on charter school report John Key's drama filled Iraq visit included potential security breach Controversial blue cod rules ditched Serious problems at Taji military base in Iraq - US report TPP: Generic drug applications under greater threat of injunctions Labour continues push into regions with Taranaki tours Maori Fisheries Trust cynically ignored in Kermadec plan, leaders say

More than $1.1 million was spent making health and safety inspectors redundant last year, leaving fewer inspectors than at the time of the Pike River disaster.

Despite vowing to increase the number of inspectors, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment offered experienced staff the option of taking redundancy if they did not want to sit a new test. Those who did not meet the standards required by the test were also offered redundancy, or to be able to sit it test again in 12 months.

Figures released under the Official Information Act show 17 health and safety inspectors took redundancy under the programme during 2013, with an average payout of $67,000.

The redundancies came as the number of health and safety inspectors dropped from 146 at the end of 2012 to 129 at the end of 2013.

Worksafe, the Crown agency established to oversee reform of workplace health and safety, said it was on track to increase the number of inspectors to 200 by the end of 2016.

Worksafe human resources manager Janine Hearn said the Pike River Royal Commission and Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety showed the regulator had to "improve the quality of its work".

The strategy to improve was "about lifting capability first, and numbers second", Hearn said, with the implementation of technical tests for all staff.

However, critics claim the changes have stripped vast institutional knowledge from the workforce. A former inspector who took redundancy said the trainees would be "of no practical value" for at least two years as they learnt about the industries.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media


Special offers
Opinion poll

Where do you stand on political coat-tail riding?

If it gets marginalised voices into Parliament, I'm for it.

I'm against it - if you don't get the votes, you shouldn't be there.

It's just part of the political game.

Vote Result

Related story: Voters reject riding on the coat-tails

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content