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meet the vhnz team phil hokianga v2
17.07.16    |  

Meet the VHNZ Team - Phil Hokianga


Phil Hokianga | General Manager Training and Quality

Phil came to join us at Vertical Horizonz NZ after 23 years with the New Zealand Military and 16 years within the Special Services (NZSAS). He brought with him experience in military and civilian close protection, maritime security and crisis management. His active service on a number of assignments means he has a very good understanding of different political climates and foreign cultures. 

Phil's military experience also includes 10 years of training military personnel so it is safe to say he has been trained by the best, has trained the best and knows what it takes to be the best trainer! That's why he is in charge of Training and Quality within VHNZ.

Phil could fill an adventure novel with stories but today we have just a few questions about his views on Safety and Training in NZ:

Phil, what's your first memory of the importance of safety? 
When I was a young soldier I remember the fear associated with making sure the harness, karabiner, figure 8, and rope were serviceable, not damaged before my instructor allowed me to conduct my first abseil from a 20m tower. 

What do you enjoy most about working within Health and Safety and Industry training? 
Providing real training that saves lives specific to an organisations needs and industry skill sets. Identifying and understanding issues, finding workable solutions that enhance individual or organisational policies and procedures. 



What do you wish other people knew about safety/and or training in New Zealand? 
Training must offer individual and collective outcomes to achieve industry expectations. Good results come from the relationship established between the trainees and trainers. Maintaining a focused approach with humour allows the trainees to understand when to focus and when to relax. Experienced knowledgeable trainers are hard to find and good trainers can influence organisational change through the delivery of quality training specific to the organisational needs. 

Tell me about some of the people you've met while working at VHNZ? 
I have been privileged over the last 10 years to meet a whole range of talented professionals who operate within this health and safety environment. Within this environment I have also been able to work, consult and train with at all levels within our industry. They are passionate and committed individuals who strive to make a difference and ensure individuals and companies apply safe systems of work. 

What might (someone) be surprised to know about you? 
Netball is a sport that takes a full Saturday to complete when your three daughters all playing in 3 different age groups. The joys of being a Dad. 

If you were alone on a desert island and were allowed only three items what would you choose? 
A net to catch fish, a knife to forage and hunt with. A cover to make a shelter. Sorry a very practical view of survival from an ex-soldier. 

Phil has a passion for creating Safe Operating Procedures (SOP's) for work in high risk environments. 

Areas of expertise include:

  • The development, facilitation and assessment of in-house and off-site training programs to meet the needs of the individual and client companies in those areas of expertise held within the work at height, fire and confined space safety arenas
  • The development of training and assessment tools in support of NZQA training and assessment standards and the learning environment of the client
  • The training and assessment of trainees to meet Australian and New Zealand standards and best practice
  • The training and assessment of workers at height specifically to meet the needs of the client and associated standards required by the Occupational Health and Safety Service of the Labour Department.

Qualifications in Brief

  • Bachelor of Administrative Leadership
  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (Australia)
  • National Certificate in Adult Education and Training (Level 4)
  • National Certificate in Agriculture (General Skills)
  • National Certificate in Business (First Line Management) (Level 3)
  • National Certificate in Outdoor Recreation (Level 4)

At 6ft 3in with fantastic posture, Phil may look a tad intimidating, but his 3 daughters keep him soft at heart! Thanks for being part of our VHNZ team Phil :)

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