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Future of Health & Safety Conference in Christchurch on July 25

Early bird tickets now available – Hear the very latest on wellbeing, technology and innovation.

The Health and Safety landscape in New Zealand is navigating a time of exceptional change.

From the Whakaari/White Island prosecutions’ case law determinations to WorkSafe jobs cuts.

We’ve welcomed an increased focus on mental wellbeing in employee health and leveraged the ever-increasing role of technology.  So what have we learned and what is ahead? The 2024 Future of Health and Safety Conference in Christchurch in July will reveal the latest. Industry leading speakers will take a deep look at progress and learnings in health and safety and shine a light on what we can expect in the future.

This significant industry event hosted by Canterbury Safety Charter with the support of BIMSafe, will be held at the Christchurch Town Hall on July 25.

Canterbury Safety Charter General Manager Paul Duggan says the key focuses of the conference will be on wellbeing, technology, and Innovation. “Each of these aspects will be central to new ways of thinking and overcoming the challenges of the industry,” he says.

Groove founder, All Blacks legend and global mental health advocate Sir John Kirwan will provide insights and practical solutions on how to manage mental health.

Chapman Tripp partner Garth Gallaway will lead the discussion on the decisions and the implications for the future following Whakaari/White Island. He will also present on the case against Ports of Auckland former CEO Tony Gibson, who was prosecuted by Maritime NZ for health and safety breaches following death of 31-year-old father-of-seven Pala’amo Kalati, who was a stevedore who died tragically at work in 2020. It is the first time a New Zealand chief executive has been charged over a workplace fatality.

There will be key learnings from the successes of BIM (Building Information Modelling). Naylor Love’s Health and Safety Advisor Jen Dransfield will share the construction giant’s experiences.

SouthBase Bim Manager Jonathan Dutton will talk about how BIM Powered Robotics have enhanced Safety in Construction. Southbase Construction was founded in 2013 as part of the recovery response to the Canterbury Earthquakes of 2010/11.

The BIMSafe NZ team will unveil their new web portal and discover firsthand how BIM technology is revolutionising health and safety in the construction industry through authentic New Zealand case studies, including the ACC/Otepoti Building, Dunedin.

University of Canterbury research fellow Dr Kathryn Davis will present on cultural shifts in enhancing health and safety through technology.

Further exciting speakers will be announced over the coming weeks.

Running alongside will be a comprehensive trade exhibition. Exhibition stands are restricted in number and available on a first-come basis.

To register for the conference or be part of the trade exhibition:

The Future of Health Safety Conference

Editor notes:

We have some complimentary media passes for the Charter’s Mentally Safe at Work Conference at the end of this month (as above). If you would like to attend, please email Megan at

About the Canterbury Safety Charter

Between September 2010 and the end of 2011, four major earthquakes and more than 11,200 aftershocks shook Christchurch and the surrounding towns. This earthquake sequence caused the deaths of 185 people. The total economic losses were estimated to be more than $38 billion. Over the last decade Christchurch has been rebuilt, thousands of uninhabitable houses demolished and replaced, and infrastructure restored.

The Canterbury Safety Charter was established to ensure anyone who worked on the demolition and rebuild went home safe and healthy every night. Modelling post-earthquakes suggested that with the scope of the projected works, several workers’ lives would be lost, there would be $80 million of ACC claims, and 600,00 working days lost to illness and/or injury.

The Safety Charter was a collective initiative between industry, MBIE, WorkSafe NZ, NZCTU, and ACC to address these concerns. The Safety Charter agreement involved more than 370 organisations and helped both Canterbury and national construction companies to raise their standards of health and safety.

The result was that during the demolition and rebuild, no workers lost their lives, a remarkable achievement. The Safety Charter continues to provide a forum for all stakeholders in construction and aligned industries. In more recent times, the Safety Charter has championed both wellbeing and technology as key directions for the future. The Safety Charter focuses on improving connection, communication, and capability, and has raised the expectations of what can be achieved individually and collectively to improve health and safety outcomes in the workplace.

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