White Island Tours safest place to work

Patrick O’Sullivan, General Manager, White Island Tours, Jennifer Goodfellow, Compliance Officer, White Island Tours, Robert Hudson, Operations Manager, Ngāti Awa Group Holdings Limited

Whakatāne tourism business White Island Tours has been recognised as New Zealand’s Safest Place to Work for 2018 in the Small Business category.

The tour company offers daily trips to New Zealand’s only active marine volcano, situated about 49km from Whakatane.

The company is one of 30 finalists whose representatives attended the awards ceremony which was held in Auckland on November 15.

White Island Tours general manager Patrick O’Sullivan accepted the award on behalf of the company during the ceremony.

“Taking visitors into the crater of an active volcano is often perceived as high risk so we have always maintained a strong focus on ensuring our Health and Safety systems were of a very high standard.

“We want our staff and our customers to feel safe and be safe no matter whether they are walking on a volcano or simply in our cafe.

“We are extremely proud to be recognised with this award and grateful to our employees for the work they have put in to earn it.”
Ngāti Awa Group Holdings, owner of White Island Tours, received an innovation award for Iwi innovation and leadership.

Patrick says Māori businesses are often associated with operating land-based assets such as agriculture, forestry, and other high-risk industries.

He says Māori workers 30 per cent more likely to get harmed at work.

“This award is an acknowledgement of the organisation’s focus to achieve better health and safety outcomes by shifting away from conventional processes towards a more robust evidence-based approach that includes strong director, management and workforce engagement.”

The Safest Place to Work Awards is a new initiative from leading cloud-based health and safety software provider Safe365 and backed by Trade Me Jobs, AdviceFirst, Health and Safety Association NZ and the New Zealand Institute of Safety Management.

The awards considered data from more than 1200 organisations and recognise those who demonstrate all-round high levels of risk management capability, leadership, employee engagement and a mature culture in making sure people are healthy, safe and well at work every day.

Other Bay of Plenty finalists in the awards included Tourism Bay of Plenty and Redwoods Treewalk.

The medium-sized business award was won by Coop Money NZ and Turfrey took out the large-sized business award and won the supreme award.

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