One can’t do all that I have been fortunate to do, or experience all that I have experienced, without learning a few things along the way:
- If you get that sneaking suspicion, or that funny little feeling about something, pay attention.
- On fundamental safety: if it doesn’t feel right, it’s not right.
- Plan for every conceivable contingency – then start with the conviction that something you know nothing about will occur when you least expect it.
- Knowing more about the risk than what has been acted on is not legally defensible. It’s about what you know or ought reasonably to know vs what you have done about it.
I served as an infantry combat medic and explosives specialist during the Vietnam war and later served with the NZ Fire Service (now FENZ) for 11 years as an operational Fire Officer. I have undergraduate qualifications in fire engineering and environmental studies. I studied Post Graduate in chemical management and toxicology. I was a full time Senior Inspector of Dangerous Goods for the Dunedin City Council from 1990 – 2004 serving as sole representative for Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) and representing the NZCIC (now Responsible Care®) on the ERMA committee for the commencement of HSNO and served on the NZ Fire Service chaired Otago Southland Hazardous Substances Technical Liaison Committee (HSTLC) at incidents, accidents and fires, and with the NZ Police chaired Emergency Services Coordinating Committee (ESCC). I acted as special advisor to the Minister for the Environment the Hon Marian Hobbs in the last Labour government on HSNO matters. During that time I assisted in the writing of policy documents including especially the Approved Handler regime and have critiqued and submitted on all regulatory changes from 1990 to the present including the Major Hazard Facilities (MHF’s) guidance documents. I continue long standing professional, political and personal relationships with the current Ministers.
In 2020 I graduated from Otago Polytechnic with a Post Graduate Diploma in Professional Practice with Distinction. The Practitioner Thesis involved developing an online course in 3D virtual and augmented reality in hazardous substances management to comply with Regulation 4.5. Courses are available through https://www.disruptivetraining.co.nz