On Tuesday 11 December, the Health and Safety Summer interns were hosted at Parliament by Hon Iain Lees-Galloway, Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety.
The interns sat down with the Minister to discuss the future of health and safety in New Zealand.
Minister Lees-Galloway was interested to find out why the interns had chosen to work in health, safety and wellbeing, and spoke about his vision for a safer, healthier New Zealand.
Kelcie Mills, Health and Safety Summer Intern at the Ministry for Primary Industries, said that Minister Lees-Galloway’s passion and obvious drive for change really impressed her.
“It was a really great opportunity for us to share our questions and learn what’s up and coming for health, safety and wellbeing. The Minister explained how and why mental wellbeing monitoring needs to given the same level of priority as physical health monitoring, and how it will be prioritised, which I believe to be really important.”
Pippa Druskovich, Health and Safety Intern at the Department of Corrections said, "I really enjoyed Meeting Minister Lees-Galloway. It was interesting to hear about his journey and what has brought him into the “safety at work” field, and why he is passionate about it. I appreciated how open and happy he was to hear about our own journeys and the work we are doing in our agencies during the programme."
Ray Smith, Government Health and Safety Lead attended the session, and said the interns were really engaged with the conversation and asked some insightful questions.
“It’s not often that as a young intern you get to go to Parliament, or meet a Minister!
Everyone had a fantastic time, and I don’t think this is an experience they will forget in a hurry.”
NZDF will host the interns next, taking them to Ohakea Air Base in January 2019, to talk about their airforce operations and the unique risks they face in their duties.