As the President, it is with great pleasure that I can start my first Word from the President by introducing our new Chief Executive, Sally Dunbar.
She replaces Rod Auton who has made an outstanding contribution to the Crane Association for nearly six years. Please join me in wishing Rod all the best in his retirement.
Sally comes to us from the New Zealand Institute of Building Surveyors, and we’re blessed to have her wide tranche of industry association experience utilised as CEO.
She will help us to develop a new licence that will not only benefit Association members, but the industry as a whole.
If you are not aware, the Pressure Equipment Cranes and Passenger Ropeways regulation is being replaced - this is resulting in a call for some form of Operator licensing.
WorkSafe NZ has many options to consider, which we are all to happy to be involved with.
We place a great deal of emphasis on training and safety, and we continue to succeed in raising the standards of operation and efficiency across the crane industry.
So, we want to ensure we are leaders in this process – informed by consultation submitted by members and the industry.
Who else knows more about the industry than you, our members, and others within the industry?
Being proactive about this issue will be important in allowing us to comprehensively inform regulators about what the industry requires from its licenced operators.
The best approach is to produce a licence that is fit for our industry – one that we have played a leading role in developing, rather than having one imposed on us.
We also know of some organisations that are attempting to create a licence, so if we don’t proceed with some haste, then we may lose our chance to create an industry-led licence.
And the association is best suited to do this because our members are on the frontlines.
Sally will soon visit her Australian counterpart to get information on this issue.
The Crane Industry Council of Australia’s Chief Executive Brandon Hitch will help us ensure that we don’t make the same mistakes they made, and there might even be some uniformity of standards.
Following the Australian visit, findings will be presented to members and Council for consideration.
On to other industry related news, the majority of you have enjoyed a Road User Charge (RUC) refund.
However, I feel that there are some more areas to address with the NZTA regarding how the RUC rate is set, and this should be raised at the upcoming conference. Watch this space.
Another issue to keep our eyes on is the NZTA proposed amendments to the Land Transport (Driver Licensing) Rule 1999.
These will simplify and standardise the driver licensing system, facilitate the move to a digital licensing environment, improve the customer’s experience, support the productivity of the commercial driving sector, and strengthen the driver training and testing regime.
As we will be a significantly affected party, we would like to work with the Agency in this reform. So, we’ll be representing the industry and input from members is always appreciated.
But looking into my crystal ball, I feel confident for our Association’s future.
Personally, I’m excited about encouraging more younger people into our industry, and I’m beginning to see more millennials who are proving to be great employees.
And as I’m slowing down in my own participation within the industry, I’m seeing more of these young guys develop their skill-sets to contribute in meaningful ways.
This may come down to society’s views on the trades – they are becoming sexy again. Being a licenced operator is no small feat; it is a measure of one’s success, too.