Introducing Carl McOnie, CEO for VHNZ.
Carl came to VHNZ in June 2014 with a wealth of work experience in governance, leadership, business management, adult education, learning and development (L&D) and the conduct and supervision of training and development programs for over 26 years.
His experience and skills in operational and business improvement, talent management and strategy development have enabled him to be very successful in his roles within Business and the L&D sector and makes him a fantastic leader for the VHNZ team. He has been instrumental in the development, implementation and management of our Quality Management System here at VHNZ.
We dug a little deeper into Carl's thoughts about the Health and Safety industry within which he has built his career.
Carl, what is your first memory of the importance of safety?
My father worked on some large construction projects (including the Huntly and Taupo power projects – early 1980's). He would often tell me stories of near misses and accidents at work. As a teenager these were scary. Not only would I be fearful for his safety but this was the workforce I was about to enter. Guess that's why I went into the Army – it seemed safer.
What has surprised you most about working within Health and Safety, Industry training?
I have been involved in Health and Safety for a long time; the most surprising is still how some managers and business owners still don't fully understand how good H&S practises can make your team more productive. An engaged workforce, we know performs more productively, and the new act helps us engage our team – in the end making NZ not only safer but more productive. In my opinion that is a win for every New Zealander.
What do you wish other people knew about safety in New Zealand?
There is a reference on WorkSafe New Zealand's website that sums this up well" Every year 50-60 people are killed in workplace incidents, and hundreds more die as a result of work-related ill health. Our work-related fatality statistics are three times as high as the UK and nearly twice as high as Australia. This is just not good enough. Everyone who goes to work deserves to come home. We can do better, and most people are trying to keep the workforce safe, which is great to see.
Tell me about something you've learnt while working at VHNZ?
VH is a great company, and there is a Maori proverb that sums up why VH is so good: He aha te mea nui o te ao, What is the most important thing in the world? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata, It is the people, it is the people, it is the people. And VH has some of the best and most professional health and safety training practitioners, trainers and administrators in the world.
What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?
When working for the NZDF, I was the Health and Safety Officer for my unit.
If you were alone on a desert island and could only take three items what would you take?
Farmer, Boat-builder and Sailor. I wouldn't be there long.
Carl enjoys the beautiful NZ outdoors and spending time with his family.
Qualifications in Brief
- Member of Institute of Directors
- Professional Member of New Zealand Association of Training Development
- National Diploma in Adult Education and Training
- National Certificate in Workplace Health and Safety
- Certificate(s) in Management
- Certificate in Facilitation and Design of E- learning
- Certificate in Search and Rescue
- Qualifications in a number of outdoor and industrial safety related activities.