New Zealand WHS Gets Funding Boost in 2012

Workplace Health and Safety in New Zealand will receive a $37 million boost in funding over the next four years in an announcement made by Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson.

Wilkinson also has ordered a full review of the country’s health and safety system by an independent taskforce to ensure it is fit-for-purpose.

According to a government paper the extra funding will be used to increase the number of front-line health and safety inspectors, further fund the High Hazards Unit, support targeted health and safety initiatives, and develop ICT to improve data sharing and analysis. 

The number of WHS inspectors will increase to 180 over three years – a 20 percent increase that will place New Zealand in line with Australia.

The NZ government has set a target of achieving a 25 percent reduction in workplace deaths and serious injuries by 2020.

 According to Wilkinson, the independent taskforce will be asked to report back by the end of the year with fresh ideas to improve the system. The Government will respond separately to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the tragedy at Pike River but any advice provided by the commission on wider health and safety issues such as came out of the Canterbury earthquakes will be considered as part of the review.


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