April 15, 2021
Mayor relying on board to make Ports of Auckland safe
Auckland mayor Phil Goff is confident the right steps have been put in place to stop a spate of deaths at Auckland’s port.
Mr Goff called for an independent health and safety report after a three deaths, including a swimmer hit by a Ports of Auckland boat doing seven times the speed limit for the area.
That report found a lack of interest by management in health and safety and a productivity bonus system that encouraged workers to ignore safety rules.
That has led to calls by port unions and Māori leaders for the resignation of port chief executive Tony Gibson and board chair Bill Osborne.
But Mr Goff says he’s counting on other board members, including health and safety expert Hazel Armstrong, to get the job done.
"The board itself has the power to appoint and to dismiss a chief executive officer and they also have the power to oversee what the management is doing. I will hold the board to account to do that and it is important the board holds the chief executives and the management to account to make sure the port becomes a place where health and safety culture is strong," he says.
Mayor Goff says the port has assured him all the recommendations of the review will be carried out.
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