Comings and Goings
On behalf of the Association I extend a big welcome to Gillian Wess as FMANZ’s new Chief Executive. I have confidently handed over the helm of the Association to her, and know that she can trust in your support and guidance. Gillian brings great experience and very relevant capabilities to her leadership role. Over the past month she has met and started working with the Board and the executive team to ensure a sound transition.
Annual General Meeting
You will by now have received advice of the Association’s AGM, the agenda for the meeting and the Association’s Annual Report. The purpose of the Annual Report is to account to members and other stakeholders about what has been achieved and the financial position of the Association. Please take time to read the Annual Report and ask questions if you have any.
A request for nominations for appointment to the Board has also been made, so consider this important opportunity if you have not already done so. Please join colleagues locally to attend the AGM on Thursday 18 August. It will be live-streamed from Auckland and feedback will be facilitated electronically from other branches who will be meeting in Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.
Constitution and Governance
Members have been asked to approve the Association’s proposed new Constitution at the AGM.
The following instruments have already been approved by the Board and uploaded to FMANZ’s website. These can be downloaded here:
FMANZ Board Charter – this provides guidance and policies relevant to the effective governance of FMANZ.
Terms of Reference have been approved for the following committees. These outline their purpose and procedures:
Maintenance and Standards
E noho râ
In signing off my last letter to you all I thought I would include a sage observation by my friend Mark Orams in his book, Blake Leader:
Great leadership involves ethics, it is about how you do things, the way you treat others. It involves attitude, communicating, listening, making decisions, tenacity, determination and resilience. It involves nobility of purpose, respect and integrity. It involves self-confidence and belief. It is something special.
Best wishes to you all,
Experience and Expertise
It is with great pleasure that we welcome Gillian Wess to FMANZ. Gillian took over from Des Brennan as CEO on 27 July.
Originally from London, where she trained with William Collins (now HarperCollins) book publishers, Gillian’s extensive career spans the private, civic and not-for-profit sectors. Her business, marketing and communications experience includes the senior positions of Promotions Director at Christchurch City Council, Corporate Affairs Executive for Paynter Corporation property developers, and other communications consultancy roles. Notably, for 10 years Gillian was General Manager of Architectural Designers New Zealand, the national professional body representing the advocacy, professional development and branding interests of architectural designers, with networks into the construction sector.
Gillian’s interests in the arts and creative industries have seen her hold the role of General Manager for Showbiz Christchurch, NZ’s leading producer of large-scale stage productions, and as Founder/Director of the Enrich Arts & Business Enrichment Partnership Programme. Gillian also serves as Executive Officer for the Storylines Charitable Trust and committee member for the Dame Malvina Major Foundation.
After two years as Chairman, John Braithwaite will step down from the FMANZ Board at the AGM in August. Before he departs, we asked him to reflect on his time in the chair, and his aspirations for what he calls “this fantastically energetic organisation”.
You were a founding member of FMANZ. What was your vision for the Association?
I think part of the success of the organisation is that the founding team had very similar visions. For me, critical success was going to be around creating an organisation that was built to support and develop its members and the profession. In particular I wanted to see the organisation develop its own direction and set its own definition of success.
My non-negotiables were:
What have been some of the highlights for you, during your time as Chairman?
My term in the seat has seen a lot of change, with the last of the “Old Guard” (me being the very last!) moving out of the Board and a new group, with different skills and energy, stepping up to take on the next challenges. I believe the refreshed Board is well placed to achieve the next steps and will succeed in taking the Association to the next level.
Some of the highlights include:
I am also very proud that Service Resources has been able to contribute to the FMANZ Foundation three times over the past three years … There are now three Emmerson cartoons hanging on our office wall!
What is it that FM as a profession should be aiming for?
That elusive instant recognition that comes from a profession that is established, understood, and acknowledged for its contribution - environmentally, commercially and socially.
FMANZ’s role is to ensure our membership and our extended professional communities have a robust toolkit full of the latest technologies, processes and procedures to contribute positively. The Association needs to provide access to learning opportunities and relevant, measureable and proven metrics to support the contributions we make to People, Place and Productivity.
We have had some great successes in many of these areas and the current business plan provides avenues to refine and improve on these achievements.
Where would you like to see FM in New Zealand in 10 years’ time?
I am confident we will see ourselves contributing positively to all aspects of business. I would love to see more people find the ability to specialise in niche areas within FM. My measure of success will be if we are having real conversations with senior management. We need to put ourselves in a positon to talk about the positive contribution we make.
Finally, any parting words before you vacate the chair?
It’s a bit cliché but it really has been a great privilege to be part of the Association from day one. I love the energy, the honesty and most importantly the comradery of the profession. I hope we never lose the ability to come together as peers and competitors and collaborate in the way we have proven we can do so well. It is a small village and, as is often said, it takes a village to raise the kids. This Association is reflective of the close-knit community that we are bound into. I challenge everyone involved to keep that collaborative energy alive and always engage positively with each other to continue to build on the great groundwork that has been laid down.
Thank you all for the opportunity to contribute to the Association and to take a spell at the helm. It has been a great experience for me personally, and I hope the Association has benefited as much from my contribution as I have from being part of its success.
High demand for asset and facilities management skills
Hands-on building management expertise and experience
Real life experience working in asset/facilities management companies
TEMC Coming to Auckland
Convened this year by FMANZ Fellow, Steph Forrest, The Tertiary Education Management Conference (TEMC), a trans-Tasman venture organised by ATEM and TEFMA, is being held 11-14 September at the Sky City Convention Centre in Auckland.
EM for FM
In association with FMANZ, EMANZ is running a two-day Energy Management for Facilities Management training course in Christchurch on 25/26 August. Discounts are available to FMANZ members and an additional 5% discount applies for multiple company bookings. See here for more information and to register.
Dive in now!
Explore the latest thinking and innovations in aquatic and recreation facilities at the 2016 Just Add Water Seminar (JAWS), to be held in Wellington on 10-12 August.
Combatting Work-related Disease
It's a sobering thought that workers in New Zealand are 10 times more likely to die of a work-related disease than from a work-related injury. Tens of thousands of people also have severe health issues because of their work. The Clean Air programme is WorkSafe’s first targeted work-related health intervention. To read more, click here.
FMANZ at EFMC 2016
Congratulations to FMANZ Fellow Val Moraes, who presented at EFMC 2016 in Milan in June. His presentation was about getting FM into the C-Suite. Joining Val from The Netherlands, Astrid Bruursema also put FMANZ on the map at EFMC when she presented her research findings in the student poster competition.
Heathrow Airport took away the Gold Award
Global FM Awards
The winners of the 2016 Global FM Awards of Excellence were announced as part of World FM Day last month. All the submissions are winners in their own right, as member organisations select their very best candidates from their organisations over the past year.
STEM for FM
STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) should be promoted in schools to increase the number of school-leavers entering FM, says one of the winners of the Global FM Awards. Read more here.
Slow Uptake on Wellness
Only one-third of employees take part in workplace wellness schemes provided by their organisations, according to a recent survey, Work and Well-Being. The results indicate that workplace schemes are not reaching at least two-thirds of the US workforce.
Multiskilling: Good or Bad?
Does multiskilling in service management lead to improved job satisfaction? Multiskilling of employees is an effective way for facilities management companies to organise jobs in ways that improves profitability, flexibility and quality of service. But does it also create a better workplace and enhance job satisfaction? Read about the three dimensions of multiskilling, and the benefits and drawbacks of multiskilling job design here.
Never Waste a Good Crisis
A recently published UK report urges property owners and facilities managers to start “thinking differently” to manage market risks. The International Construction Market Survey 2016 is Turner & Townsend’s largest and most in-depth survey to date. The verdict? “Never waste a good crisis.” Find out what that means, here.
Shattering the Glass Ceiling
There's something to be said about focusing in on how the FM function is accepted, respected and positioned when matched against a range of different forms of company structure, says Martin Read, managing editor of FM World. He writes about shattering the executive glass ceiling in his blog.
Drive for Efficiency
Universities across the UK could save 10 per cent on their estates repair and maintenance bills by implementing efficiency drives, particularly for procurement of materials. Read how they might make this happen, here.
When Science Fiction Becomes Reality
The adoption of robotic technology has never been higher than it is today. According to the International Federation of Robotics, last year the number of industrial robots sold globally hit 179,000. This is an all-time record – but is it a good or a bad thing? Find out here.
The Oscars of NZ Architecture
The 2016 Interior Awards took place at St-Matthew-in-the-City, Auckland, on 23 June to celebrate the 10 prize winners of 2016. The awards were presented across nine main categories including Workplace (over 1,000m2), which was won by the Fonterra Centre featured in Building Showcase. Read all about the winning entries, here.
The Oscars of World Architecture
Speaking of which, 10 New Zealand projects are included in the shortlist for the 2016 World Architecture Festival Awards, which consist of over 300 projects from 58 countries. Architects of the shortlisted projects will be invited to present to the panel of jurors in Berlin during the World Architecture Festival, which runs 16-18 November.
Organisations representing the property and construction industry have joined forces to call for the UK’s existing focus on decarbonisation to be maintained as part of any EU exit negotiations. “Incentives remain strong for business to address climate change and other urgent sustainability challenges,” they say. “A low carbon built environment can be a catalyst for innovation, investment and job creation.” Read more here.
Facilities for Hugging?
At the ISS Top Management Conference 2016, delegates had a chance to discuss the trends of Facility Management with the ISS Group Chief Commercial Officer, Andrew Price. His answers were both thought-awakening and surprising. Facilities for eating, and talking - yes, that's pretty mainstream - but facilities for hugging?
Cost savings continue to be the most important reason behind outsourcing decisions. But how much money are you actually saving? This post by ISS strives to answer that question.
In the words of Thomas Edison, “Innovation is more than simply coming up with a good idea; it is the process of growing them into practical use”. So what are the four characteristics of innovative FM companies? Find out here.
Sport New Zealand released the Community Sport & Recreation Facility Development Guide at the end of June. Download the 23 page summary, or full 250 page guide from the Sport New Zealand website.
If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the office … 90% of UK office workers feel less productive when it’s too hot in the office, with 44% moving away from their desks to counteract the heat. A OnePulse survey found that of those who said they’d move away from their desks, 72% said they’d move to a cooler part of the office, while 23% said they’d go to a meeting room.
FM On the Rise
According to I-FM.net, the world market for Facilities Management is expected to grow over 13% by 2024, thanks to a series of converging trends, including a focus on cost control, environmental responsibility, energy efficiency and regulatory compliance.
A Profession in Demand
You may have heard talk in the news about a recent study which shows that three out of four people are currently on the lookout for a better job. Just in case you're one of those looking to move on, we decided to catch up with Vanessa Powell, Managing Consultant at Robert Walters in Wellington, for a snapshot of the FM job market in New Zealand …
What are the key developments you’ve observed in the FM employment market ?
The profile of FM is forever growing and developing, which can be attributed to the hard work of smart facilities managers across NZ. A consistent push towards education is aiding this movement and the raised profile of FM. More organisations are recognising the value of good FM and the subsequent cost savings that appropriate FM can deliver. Good FM practices are being attributed to the increased wellbeing of staff and therefore the reduction in lost time to sickness and down time.
Is FM becoming more recognised as a profession do you think?
Yes, the biggest indicator of this is graduate interest. Four years ago, no graduates would ask about FM as a career path but there is now genuine graduate interest in a lot of the roles I advertise.
What do you think the key trends are, going forward?
The profile of FM will continue to grow, particularly with the hard work FMANZ is putting in to raising awareness and there will continue to be skill shortages in this area because of the specialist nature of the work.
We are still seeing a need for good generalist facilities managers and people with more of a project management bent. One of the main trends has been a shift towards utilising analysts to get through the big data so informed decisions can be made around portfolio management.
Are Facilities Managers in demand?
Yes. Good FM people are receiving multiple offers when they go to market. We recommend that hiring managers focus on streamlining their recruitment processes to avoid missing out on top talent. Smart hiring managers are being more considered in their offering, particularly around flexibility and training and development programmes.
What are some of the key things employers are looking for?
Strong technical competency remains a key request and people with relevant experience in a similar role are equally sought after. As the FM industry grows its profile, employers are adjusting their priorities. A facilities manager touches all parts of the business and this is reflected in the request for skilled stakeholder management. Attitude also continues to be a key driver for smart hiring managers and they are searching for individuals who aren’t afraid to ‘roll up their sleeves’ when needed.
Do you have many queries from overseas FM professionals looking to work in NZ?
We do have queries; the majority are from the UK and South Africa, and are predominantly people wanting to move for quality of life reasons. Most want to settle in major centres such as Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland. I find that people who are looking to make the move are well positioned if they have a strong knowledge of FM and strong relationship management capability.
Salary-wise, what can someone in FM expect to be paid?
Salaries are genuinely reflective of skills and experience in Facilities Management, so it really does depend on the level of experience and personality fit. Robert Walters releases a global Salary Survey annually (New Zealand is on page 206) and FM salaries are included in the findings.
Finally, for employers reading this, Robert Walters released a paper on attracting, retaining and developing millennial professionals – what were the key findings?
If people want to read the full whitepaper they can find it here. Otherwise, the report highlights are:
Want to go Global
86% of Millennials think employers should offer international career opportunities as part of their training and development programs. Organisations that do not have global operations should look to connect with global partners in order to retain talent and help develop their employees.
Still attracted by traditional inducements
74% of Millennials say that salary and benefits are still most important when looking for a new job.
Need to be recognised
70% of Millennials say that the most important quality in a manager is the ability to recognise performance regularly.
Want a mentor
On the job training (78%) and mentoring by internal professional contacts (54%) were the preferred methods of training for Millennials.
Not as LinkedIn as employers think
87% of employers think that Millennials would leave their organisation if they didn’t invest in emerging technologies, and 62% of employers have plans to invest in technology. However only just over half said they would consider leaving if their employer didn’t invest in technology.
FM Happenings Up and Down the Country
It has been a busy couple of months with events up and down the country. Thanks to David White, Director of the Government Property Group, for sharing his knowledge on Public Property - Challenges and Opportunities for FM in Government in the June National Breakfast Series.
You can download David's 27-slide PowerPoint presentation and watch the seminar again (thanks to Livestream) by clicking here.
Wellington started something with their 2015 World FM Day Quiz Night. This year saw the knowledge of FM in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch put to the test on 13 July. Thanks to the four branch committees for their organisational efforts, and to the four regional sponsors: Test & Tag, Resene, Commercial Door Services and Opus. We hope you all had a great night and are keen to do it again next year!
And thank you to FMANZ Gold Sponsor Philips Lighting for hosting FMANZ members at their new state-of-the-art ‘connected' office in Newmarket, Auckland for an After-5 event in July.
Valspar: If It Matters They're On It
As a recent project in Queenstown clearly demonstrates, FMANZ Platinum sponsors Valspar live up to their motto, ‘If it matters we're on it".
Valspar Business Development Manager Sarah Stewart (Auckland) and Business Development Representative Bevan Brown (Southland) worked closely with Auckland-based Dafydd Barrar, Senior Facilities Manager with Colliers International (on behalf of FreshChoice Queenstown and Stride LFR) to complete a large exterior paint job within a fixed budget and a very tight timeframe.
“It was very much a team effort,” says Dafydd. “That’s when you get the best results, when everyone is working together.” The challenge was to get FreshChoice Queenstown sealed and painted before the inclement winter weather the town is famous for, set in.
The team at Valspar “played a huge part in project management”, says Dafydd. With clear guidelines and input from Colliers, Stride LFR and FreshChoice, Valspar compiled site notes, drew up specifications, made recommendations on local painting companies and ran the tender process. They also offered professional advice on surface preparation and appropriate paint systems.
Tom Dixon Painting Ltd won the tender and completed the job to a high standard within three weeks. Based at Valspar in Invercargill, Bevan visited the site regularly during this time, and kept all parties abreast of progress via photographs. He also produced a summary report on completion. “He even organised a local roofing contractor to fit new parapet caps when the painters discovered an area of total breakdown on the roof,” says Dafydd, clearly impressed.
Dafydd is so pleased with how seamlessly the project ran, he is looking at teaming up with Valspar on more projects in the future. “In fact, we already have a number in the pipeline.”
“The FreshChoice project is a really good example of what we can do,” says Valspar’s Sarah Stewart. “Our goal is to be a paint arm for facilities managers and their clients, providing them with the best systems for longevity and durability.
“We’re about much more than selling paint. As we like to say, we’re about everything outside of the bucket, as well as within it.”
Places and Spaces to Live, Work and Play
Stuart Graham is the Facilities Manager at Christchurch City Council. As part of the Corporate Facilities Property and Planning team, he leads a group of 22 staff responsible for managing building maintenance, renewals, security, fleet, office fit-outs, storage etc. “Basically all the traditional hard and soft FM services.” The Council outsources most of its trade services and has a small technical team who support the 1600 buildings across Christchurch City and Banks Peninsula. “My role involves lots of negotiation and leadership, with a big emphasis on operational facilities management across the organisation,” says Stuart. “I have a lot of stakeholders to work with, so solid relationships are paramount.” Stuart has been with the Council for the past six years.
What does ‘Facilities Management’ mean to your organisation?
Our team vision is to enable ‘Places and spaces to live, work and play’, and I like to think my personal FM approach is to ensure my organisation is well placed to deliver the services our city needs to thrive. I compare our team to that of a stage crew working behind the scenes. We support our organisation and community because we are passionate about working and living in New Zealand’s second largest city.
What is a typical day like for you?
Meetings, meetings, meetings, check in with my team, meetings, battle with my email inbox, more meetings, liaise with stakeholders … aka meetings … no, seriously, my day is never dull and it involves a nice mix of leadership and operational responsibilities. I get to be involved in some amazing projects, rebuilding and repairing our city’s infrastructure. However our main focus is to support our core services such as community facilities, libraries, sports centres and the occasional corporate building.
What are some of the challenges of your job from an FM perspective?
Keeping abreast of all the projects and developments that are underway, along with balancing our existing service delivery. It’s strange to think it’s been almost six years since the Canterbury earthquakes altered the landscape for our community so dramatically. Now we have the challenge to live and work in a city that is rebuilding. It’s an exciting time to be involved in a building management role. For my part, I’m focusing on making good, often pragmatic decisions, and being involved in reshaping the facilities as we repair and rebuild them.
What is the most interesting aspect of your job?
The Christchurch City Council has a very diverse range of facilities in its portfolio to support, which I enjoy, from the 6-green star Civic building, to our parks and paddling pools … they each have a story to tell and take time to manage. We are incorporating some great initiatives to reduce operating costs with smart building controls and energy efficient lighting. Where we can we are creating sustainable and strong buildings for our future generations to enjoy.
What are some of things you like most about working in FM?
I like the practical approach that Facilities Management people bring to the job. We are a very solutions-focused industry, in that we are enablers who support our organisations to achieve their goals. I enjoy the facilities management industry because it has a fabulous mix of operational and tactical people working together.
What do you think are the most important skills an FM professional needs?
The ability to translate technical information in a credible solution-focused way. AKA, the ability to translate the complex. People don’t want you to bamboozle them by explaining the intricacies of thermal heat loadings or system infrastructure resilience. Remember it’s important to include the solutions and what these mean to your stakeholders.
On a day-to-day level, it’s important that you have the ability to competently deal with the urgent, unplanned, and planned works, without losing the plot. Practically, this equates to juggling, whilst riding a unicycle, at the same time delivering a customer-centric solution. Easy aye!
How did you get into the industry?
I didn’t plan to get into the Facilities Management industry. I did a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography, and from there I got involved in a nationwide telecommunications project for a few years. Then I found myself working in the tertiary education sector as part of an FM team. I guess this gave me exposure to the FM world. Since then, I’ve had some great leadership roles in facilities, property, and building management.
To date, I’ve always been involved on the client side and have picked up the knowledge I’ve needed on the job. I guess I’ve developed enough transferrable and leadership skills to overcome the lack of specific FM qualifications.
What is the proudest accomplishment in your career to date?
I’m proud to have been involved in supporting the city, as we managed our way through the Canterbury earthquake events. They were the definition of “not ideal” in anyone’s language, but they provided me with the opportunity to roll up my sleeves and get involved during the state of emergency phase.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in FM?
Practice juggling! Facilities Management roles can be really diverse, full of challenges and disruptions. Each disruptive event is an opportunity to use your judgement, skill and influence to add value to your customers, your stakeholders and your organisation. Facilities Management is a growing industry and one that attracts great people. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to embrace change, as it can take you in lots of different directions.
When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?
I’m in the middle of a major house renovation at the moment, so my spare time is 100% focused on DIY. When that’s over, I’ll get back to my passion for outdoor activities like cycling, kayaking, paddle boarding, flying power kites, tramping, camping … basically anything that’s outdoors and not in a building.
Land of Milk & Honey: Inside Fonterra's New Headquarters
The multinational dairy cooperative Fonterra has adopted Activity-Based Working (ABW) practices with the creation of its clean, green, new corporate base in downtown Auckland.
The creation of the new headquarters was driven by Fonterra’s need to amalgamate its corporate staff, who were scattered across five distinct Auckland locations, into “one Fonterra, if you will”, says Ben Coleman, Fonterra’s development manager, about the build. “There was a number of reasons for wanting to bring everyone together, including sustainability and cost effectiveness, but also the fact that we are a global company. If we were going to attract global talent, we needed to have the right space.”
Before finding a site and talking about the build, Fonterra firstly considered the future of the company’s working style. “We asked how we wanted our people to work, how to reduce our overheads and maximise efficiency, and in the end, put more money on the table for the farmer. That was how we came to decide on Activity-Based Working,” says Ben.
Raised and lowered floor levels in the ‘lantern’ create some unusual workstations with excellent views of Auckland harbour.
Image: Simon Devitt
Specialist in Activity-Based Working, Veldhoen + Company, was brought in from Australia to analyse Fonterra’s needs, in terms of the types and numbers of working and meeting settings it would require.
Rather than throw staff into the new workplace unprepared, Fonterra carried out a good deal of training, says Ben. “We engaged Jasmax in the project from its conception phase in 2012, and they designed an ABW pilot site, dubbed an Experience Centre, where more than 400 of our employees had the opportunity to work for a period of time, to experience the new way of working.”
The ground floor café has an industrial aesthetic. Image: Simon Devitt
To read more about how Fonterra is making ABW work, including its use of ‘Find Me’ touchscreen panels, and how wellness, water use and ecology all came into play in the design of the building, click here.
To keep up to date with building projects in NZ, sign up for Architecture Now’s free newsletter here.
Is Your Building Accessible?
Building law expert and teacher Rosemary Killip warns that our definition of ‘accessible’ might be too narrow.
The rules around the accessibility of your building and facilities for people with disabilities are set out in the NZ Building Act 2004. Briefly summarised and translated, these are as follows:
New buildings must provide accessible facilities and an accessible journey
Existing buildings need be assessed for their access provisions when they undergo an alteration, tenant fit out or change of use that trigger consents.
However, I often find there’s a popular misconception that accessibility only affects people with disabilities. In fact when you take a closer look at universal design principles, you can see the importance of designing, constructing and maintaining buildings in such a way that they can be utilised by the widest range of people possible, whether they are young, aging, disabled or able-bodied.
Here are six simple clues that your building or facility might not be inclusively accessible:
Over the coming two months, Building Networks is offering accessibility training solutions that are bench-marked to international standards through close liaison with internationally acknowledged accessibility experts and authorities.
Through the course you will:
Learn to understand the rules around accessibility.
Work through a checklist of what to look for to ensure your building becomes more accessible.
Receive information on how you can plan for longer-term upgrades.
Click below to book for Access Audits on Existing Buildings.
Canterbury – Thursday 18th August
Wellington – Wednesday 7th September
Auckland – Friday 30th September
I Spy ... Are Employers the New Big Brother?
The surveillance of employee activity has become a notable temptation for employers in recent years. This follows the introduction of new technologies which have enabled a more varied and pervasive ability to for employers to check up on what employees are doing during work hours. As a whole, surveillance techniques are thought to increase efficiency, measure productivity, and ultimately maximise profits. Yet there is some question as to whether such efforts are truly lawful. Jennifer Mills and Jess Greenheld from Anthony Harper present a "best practice" approach to workplace surveillance to ensure that employers act squarely within the bounds of the law.
The Employment Relations Act 2000 is the central piece of legislation in all employment matters, governing the obligations and actions of employees and employers alike. Section 103A of the Act establishes a test against which the justifiability of all employer actions are assessed. This asks whether a fair and reasonable employer could have acted in the same manner, having regard to all the circumstances at the time the dismissal or action occurred. In addition, both parties to the employment relationship have an obligation to act in good faith and observe the implied duties of trust and confidence.
Privacy in the Employment Context
Rights Under the Privacy Act
Rights under the Privacy Act 1993 are not expressly enforceable in the employment jurisdiction. Rather, questions of privacy are addressed using an exclusive procedure in the Human Rights Review Tribunal. In an attempt to harmonise the employment and privacy jurisdictions, it has been suggested that substantial compliance with the Principles is necessary for an employer to meet the test for justification under s 103A. Yet, it may also be argued that this adds an additional qualification to the wording of s 103A, which is not apparent on its face. As such, an action or dismissal will be justified if the employer's actions were what a fair and reasonable employer could have done in all the circumstances at the time the dismissal or action occurred, even if the Principles have not been strictly observed. However, as it is arguable that the Principles are an important benchmark which, for practical purposes, employers should observe, a discussion of the Principles in the context of surveillance will be explored.
Briefly, Principle 1 requires personal information to be collected for a lawful purpose that is connected with a function or activity of the agency and that such collection is necessary for that purpose.
Principle 2 then prescribes that personal information shall be collected from the individual directly concerned unless, amongst other things, the information is publicly available, the individual has authorized the collection of the information from elsewhere or compliance would prejudice the purpose of the collection.
Principle 3 provides that where an agency collects information directly from the individual concerned, the agency should, take reasonable steps to ensure that the individual concerned is aware that the information is being collected.
Finally, Principle 4 provides that personal information may not be collected by an agency by unlawful means or by means that are unfair or intrude to an unreasonable extent upon the personal affairs of the individual.
Physical Surveillance in the Employment Jurisdiction
Physical Surveillance Under the Privacy Act 1993
Under the Privacy Act, physical surveillance is unlikely to breach Principle 1 if it is shown that an employer had a lawful purpose for installing a video camera, and that the collection of information by the camera was necessary for that purpose. For example, a lawful purpose may be to identify a thief when past warnings to staff were unsuccessful in preventing further thefts. Also, while Principle 3 requires that a person is aware that information is being obtained from him or her, it is likely that an employer carrying out surveillance can argue that one of the exceptions to this Principle will apply. One exception to the principle which is likely to be raised in the case of covert surveillance is where the agency believes, on reasonable grounds, that compliance would prejudice the collection's purposes.
Finally, Principle 4 may have application if the surveillance is unlawful, unfair or unreasonably intrusive. In Case Note 32277, surveillance in a locker room was found not to constitute an unreasonable intrusion, despite the employees being unaware of their installation. Further, although the video was operating in an area where workers were changing, the Commissioner was satisfied that the filming did not constitute an unreasonable intrusion into the employees' privacy. Specifically, the video did not capture activities in the shower or toilet area; it was activated only by movement near the target locker; it needed to be able to record faces in order to identify the culprit, and it was in operation for only as long as was necessary to do so. In this way, this decision provides guidance as to how employers may ensure compliance with Principle 4.
Lastly, under the Crimes Act 1961, it is illegal for a person to intentionally intercept any private communication by means of an interception device. This section could have application to video surveillance if voices are recorded or surveillance activities involving audio recording devices. However, a private communication does not include a communication occurring in circumstances in which any party ought reasonably to expect that some other person may intercept the communication, or where the party intercepting the communication is a party to it. Thus, an employer may be able to avoid liability under this section by directly controlling employees' reasonable expectations of privacy by forming policies in such a way, or obtain prior consent from employees.
Adopting Best Practice
Ultimately, to adopt a "best practice" approach to the surveillance of employee activity, an employer should have good business justification for any surveillance, and should tailor its surveillance to its business purpose. In addition, surveillance should be limited to a reasonable time, scope and subject. Taking such an approach to surveillance in the workplace is ultimately likely to ensure compliance with the Principles, although not directly applicable in the employment jurisdiction. Alongside the procedural fairness requirements, observance of the Principles will afford the employer the fullest protection against potential claims in both jurisdictions.
Christchurch Casino's Big Win
Energy efficiency changes at Christchurch Casino resulted not only in substantial cost savings but also in creating a much more comfortable environment for customers and staff.
"Our staff are happier because their work environment is more comfortable, and the improvements to building monitoring mean we can fix problems that arise before our staff or customers even notice,” says Brian Johnson, Christchurch Casino Building Services Manager. “The Board have been so impressed with the results that they are embracing energy efficiency throughout the broader group of businesses they operate.”
The project started with a focus from Casino management on reducing ongoing energy costs and led to an energy audit carried out by energy and utility consultants Enercon in 2012. Improvements identified included changes to existing air-conditioning controls, fresh air intake and lighting. These opportunities were implemented and fine-tuned during 2013.
But the changes didn’t stop there. In 2013, the Casino also opted to install a new, very efficient air handling unit on the main gaming floor. The new unit exceeded energy savings expectations.
A review of the energy savings at the Christchurch Casino shows an 18.5% reduction in electricity use since the original energy audit due to these changes. These improvements have saved the Casino $138,000 a year and over 1 gigawatt hour in energy savings per year as well.
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