March 31, 2021
No pass for port mismanagement
A Māori advocate says it’s time for Ports of Auckland chief executive Tony Gibson to fall on his sword.
An independent review sparked by three deaths at the port in three years has identified systemic health and safety failings, including poor reporting of incidents, and called on the chief executive to prioritise safety over productivity and profitability and help to change risky behaviour.
Independent Statutory Māori Board deputy chair Tau Henare says his board has been concerned for years at the board’s lack of responsiveness to Māori despite having a large Māori and Pacific Island workforce.
He says port owner Auckland Council is limited by legislation, so it’s up to board chair Bill Osborne to tell Mr Gibson it’s time to go – and to be accountable himself.
"We've taken far too long to sort out the mess that is systemic now and how you get to systemic is you don't do anything about it in the first place. You just let it roll on. I'm fearful more of our whanau are going to be under pressure on the port as the business ramps up after COVID-19," Mr Henare says.
He says just because Bill Osborne could play rugby doesn’t mean he can run an organization.
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