BusinessNZ – More RSE workers welcome

Source: BusinessNZ

Welcoming more of the Pacific workforce to New Zealand is a good move, says BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope.
“Businesses across all regions and sectors are struggling with skill shortages. It is positive to see the Government applying a risk management approach to the border and allowing people to come in without MIQ requirements where there is minimal risk to New Zealand. We look forward to the Government working constructively with other industry groups to find pragmatic solutions to the current skill shortages.
“This will be a welcome relief for the primary industry companies that are facing a number of challenges still, and assist our Pacific neighbours experiencing significant economic hardship”.

Health and Employment Dispute – NZNO disturbed DHBs are seeking emergency cover ruling

Source: New Zealand Nurses Organisation

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is disturbed the district heath boards (DHBs) have approached the Employment Court to help resolve a disagreement over providing life preserving services (LPS) during strike action, says NZNO Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku.
NZNO Industrial Services Manager Glenda Alexander said NZNO was not aware of any DHB facility that did not have its LPS needs met during the recent 9 June strike.
“We wonder why the DHBs did not approach us to discuss the matter before issuing a media release about their decision to take this action, which seems just another distraction from meaningful negotiations.
“We believe we have met all of our obligations as set out under the Code of Good Faith for the Public Health Sector (the Code) and that we have complied with all agreements reached. We will continue to do so in the future.”
Ms Alexander said NZNO and NZNO members have put a massive effort into ensuring life preserving services (LPS) are able to be provided and are gearing up to do the same for the 19 August strike.
“This is an affront to NZNO and its members who have worked constructively at all times with the DHBs to agree how best to provide LPS in each circumstance, and who will continue to do so. Our members have bent over backwards to make sure patients were not harmed as a result of strike action, and the services were certainly provided.
“It does appear, from what the DHBs are now stating publicly that NZNO and the DHBs have a different understanding of the extent of any rights and obligations under the Code in terms of LPS.
“However, NZNO members will not be putting patients and other staff at risk, as is implied by the DHB media release.”
Ms Alexander invited the DHBs instead to focus on coming up with an offer centred on guarantees that safe staffing will be in place every day to ensure the future of safe nursing practice is secure. She said she looks forward to negotiations commencing again on Thursday 5 August. 

Recognised Seasonal Workers – Horticulture New Zealand welcomes labour crisis relief

Source: Horticulture New Zealand

Horticulture New Zealand welcomes the Government’s announcement permitting Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers from Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu, to enter New Zealand without the need for managed isolation.
The decision will provide both economic relief to the Pacific Islands and alleviate the pressure felt by New Zealand’s horticulture and wine industries who face extreme seasonal labour crises for harvest and pruning.
HortNZ chief executive, Nadine Tunley, says without the support of this seasonal Pacific workforce, permanent jobs held by Kiwis, and the growth of New Zealand’s horticulture and wine industries, are at risk.
“While Kiwis will continue to be first priority for employment in our horticulture and wine industries, we still require additional help from our seasonal workforce, particularly during such challenging economic times,” says Nadine.
“The horticulture sector would like to acknowledge Minister Faafoi and his Officials for their efforts and working with industry to achieve this positive outcome.”
NZ Apples & Pears, NZ Kiwifruit Growers, Summerfruit NZ, Wine NZ, NZ Ethical Employers and HortNZ are working with Government to finalise details and ensure that the health, safety, and wellbeing of workers remain paramount throughout this transition.

Local Government – Porirua seeks to recycle construction waste

Source: Porirua City Council 

Porirua may be able to help provide a facility in the lower North Island to recycle construction and demolition material, after receiving funding to develop a business case.
Last week Minister for the Environment David Parker announced $164,250 to Porirua City Council towards the project, through the national Waste Minimisation Fund.
About 50 per cent of waste to Spicer Landfill each year comes from construction and demolition material – like gib, plastics, steel and other material left over from building homes.
Each home built produces up to five tonnes of unwanted waste, Porirua’s Principal Advisor Resource Recovery Nigel Clarke said.
“We ultimately want to extend the life of our landfill, so it’s important we reduce the amount going in,” he said.
“Construction waste is a big part of what’s being taken up there, so anything we can do to re-use this material would be fantastic for our city.”
Porirua mayor Anita Baker said as Porirua keeps expanding, a facility like this is vital.
“We want to provide this service for our partners Kāinga Ora and the private developers so they can keep doing their job effectively.”
If the business case shows that a construction and demolition facility is economically feasible, the next step is to begin planning the facility with partners, such as Kāinga Ora. Design and consultation with the public could take place later this year.
Last week’s announcements also had similar funding for a construction and demolition waste facility in Auckland, along with food waste projects in Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown, Nelson, Napier, Auckland and Northland.
Reducing construction and demolition waste will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and is another step towards helping New Zealand become a low waste, low emissions economy, Minister Parker said.
“Much of this type of waste could be reduced, reused and recovered,” he said.
“That’s a win-win for the climate and the environment.”

Education – Future-focused training key to filling labour shortages in horticulture

Source: eCampus NZ

New Zealand growers are exploring new online training options in an effort to help seasonal workers understand ongoing career pathways in the horticulture industry, which continues to experience a shortage of workers.
Hayden Taylor, manager of Roseburn Orchard in Central Otago, said engaging and effective training is crucial to building a sustainable labour force.
“If we focus on attracting new workers and training them well, we’ll get younger people coming in, buying in, and staying for 30 or 40 years in the industry,” he said.
Taylor began managing the 32-hectare apple orchard, which is part of CAJ Apples NZ, in May, but he has been responsible for inducting and training new staff for several months. He is keen to use all of the tools and technologies he has available to him to help new workers understand the career opportunities that exist in the industry.
“I’m keen to explore different styles of training. I want people to come onto the orchard and see that there are opportunities there if they buy in to the work and try to excel,” he said.
Most recently, Taylor has been working through the ten micro-credentials launched by New Zealand Apples and Pears, GoHort and eCampus NZ earlier this year. The free, bite-sized online courses introduce learners to the career opportunities available in horticulture and cover a range of topics, from health and safety to leading a team in an orchard or packhouse.
“We see these courses as being the future of how we engage with Kiwis starting their pathway into our industry as well as being a resource for anyone curious and wanting to learn more about what goes on in the world of fruit and veg,” said Horticulture NZ Capability Manager, Emma Boase, when the courses were launched in April of this year.
Keen to incorporate them into his training, Hayden has completed all ten of the courses. He’s particularly interested in using the health and safety course content to induct new staff in an engaging way.
“I’m trying to bring in different styles of training. My style of training and teaching revolves around getting people to forget that working on the orchard is a job and realise that it can be a passion,” Taylor said.
“I think there’s a huge potential for micro-credentials in the changed landscape after COVID-19. It gives potential for those who have lost jobs to quickly upskill in new areas of employment and makes it easy for managers to train staff in specific areas,” Taylor said.

Health – Pacific Health Plus delivering community-focused vaccination

Source: Pacific Health Plus (PHP)

Pacific Health Plus (PHP), in partnership with Porirua Union Community Health Service (PUCHS), has opened a Covid-19 vaccination clinic at Freedom Church in Cannons Creek, Porirua.

The clinic was officially opened with a welcome greeting and blessing on Wednesday 28 July. In attendance were Barbara Edmonds, MP for Mana, Tagaloa Junior Ulu, Director of Pacific Health for Capital & Coast District Health Board, Pastor Teremoana Tauira, Ian Frater, Chairperson of PUCHS, and Molly Fiso, Advisory Board Member of Pacific Health Plus.

Lee Pearce, Director of Health for PHP, believes their community-focused approach is important for ensuring high vaccination rates. “We listen to what our patients are saying and walk beside them,” says Lee.

“Our staff are trusted faces, it makes a big difference being able to talk to patients one on one and in an environment where they’re comfortable to ask questions.”

PHP has engaged extensively in the lead-up to the clinic’s opening. This has included a successful information evening and QnA in April, and regular radio slots where Lee would answer listeners’ questions and provide information that builds on health literacy.

“People have been really responsive, there’s a quiet excitement in the community,” explains Lee.

A new booking system has been rolled out to ensure it is easy for people to book. Patients receive a text once they are eligible for their vaccine and can book via an online form, 0800 number (0800PHPLUS), or in person. While staff are proactively contacting enrolled patients.

Staff are also driving people to and from the clinic in the Pacific Health Plus van, ensuring the vaccination is accessible for everyone.

Plans are also being developed to have vaccination days focused on specific Pacific communities in the future.

“We’re bringing the vaccine directly to the community, to avoid barriers for those who are most vulnerable,” says John Fiso, Chairman of PHP.

“As the only Pacific owned and governed medical practice in the Wellington region, we’re focused on delivering a vaccine clinic that is responsive to Pacific needs. That is what our community needs and deserves.”

Note: Pacific Health Plus (PHP) is a healthcare provider in Cannons Creek, Porirua, servicing over 4000 patients, mainly of Pacific descent. Photos are attached from the clinic’s opening day.

Health – Social worker used clinical knowledge for personal gain

Source: Health and Disability Commissioner

Health and Disability Commissioner Morag McDowell today released a report finding a social worker in breach of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights (the Code) for blurring his professional relationship with a man in his care.
The man, aged in his fifties, had a history of depression and anxiety. The registered social worker, who was working as a mental health practitioner, met with the man and undertook an initial clinical assessment.
At this initial meeting, the man’s financial situation was discussed and the social worker suggested that the man, who worked as a tradesperson, undertake cash work for him at his home.
While the social worker subsequently referred the man to an external counsellor, there were continued interactions between them that suggested an ongoing professional relationship.
The relationship deteriorated when the social worker went to the man’s house without prior agreement, to pay him for the work completed. The man raised his concerns that it was inappropriate for the social worker to visit unannounced, and an acrimonious exchange occurred during which the social worker used his clinical knowledge of the man against him.
The Commissioner considered that the social worker blurred his professional relationship with the man by offering him private work, responding poorly when the private relationship deteriorated, and abusing the knowledge he gained in a clinical context for personal gain.
“Maintaining professional boundaries between consumers and providers is an important part of the provision of healthcare services,” said Ms McDowell.
“Trust is fundamental to this relationship, and to ensuring that the consumer is assured that the provider is acting with the consumer’s best interests in mind.”
Following this incident, the social worker provided evidence of undertaking professional supervision with a psychologist, advised that he had reviewed training material and that he is undertaking further regular supervision with a new supervisor.
The Commissioner encouraged the social worker to include relationship issues, transference and other boundary matters as part of his regular supervision, and recommended that he provide a written apology to the man.
Ms McDowell also recommended that the Social Workers Registration Board consider whether a review of the social worker’s competence is warranted.
The full report on case 19HDC01972 is available on the HDC Website.

Health – Deputy Commissioner highlights lack of clarity in retirement village care

Source: Health and Disability Commissioner

Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Rose Wall today released a report criticising an aged care facility and three registered nurses for the care they provided to an elderly man.
The aged care facility operates both a rest home and hospital, and a retirement village on the same site.
The elderly man was living independently in a cottage at the retirement village. While walking nearby, he fell and hit the back of his head. When he returned home, he sought assistance from nurses at the rest home/hospital onsite.
The Deputy Commissioner was critical of shortcomings at the facility which left staff unclear of their responsibilities to village residents living independently and resulted in a delay in escalating the man’s care.
Ms Wall noted that while the man did not have an agreement with the facility for care services, his agreement included that a medical practitioner would be available on call at all times for emergencies.
She was critical of two nurses for incompletely documenting their assessment of the man, and of another nurse for not adequately assessing the man and leaving him alone while awaiting the ambulance.
“Operators of retirement villages with onsite rest homes and hospitals should recognise the professional responsibilities of their nurses to respond appropriately in such circumstances,” Ms Wall said.
The facility missed opportunities to fully inform the man’s family, accurately record the man’s assessment, and offer extended monitoring following a head injury.
“I recommend that the facility consider improving the information that they provide to village residents about emergencies, medical incidents and requests for assistance,” she said.
She also recommended that the facility undertake a review of its relevant policies and procedures; implement a training programme on falls, assessment and monitoring for its staff; and provide an apology to the man’s family.
The full report on case 18HDC01025 is available on the HDC website.

Health – Indigenous Nurses Aotearoa Conference 2021 draws significant speakers

Source: New Zealand Nurses Organisation

This year Te Rūnanga o Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa are hosting their first Indigenous Nurses Aotearoa Conference (INAC) in person since 2019. It is being held at Te Papa Tongarewa on 13 and 14 August.
The kaupapa this year is “Heeding the call of the maunga”. Members and guest speakers will be reflecting on change, and the things that ground us as we continue to push for a healthy and just Aotearoa.
We have numerous esteemed kaikōrero, including Donna Awatere, Dr Moana Jackson, Hon. Peeni Henare, Annette Sykes, Ripeka Evans, Hinewirangi Morgan, and Dr. Rawiri Taonui.
Media are warmly welcomed to attend and cover this significant event.

Cyber Security – Remote working putting organisations at risk of ransomware – MBIE

Source: New Zealand Government

CERT NZ is urging Kiwi organisations to tighten up the way they enable remote working for staff to avoid a ransomware attack.

Government cyber security agency, CERT NZ says the majority of ransomware attacks occur through poorly configured remote access systems, which businesses use to allow staff to access systems from outside the office.

While there are a range of these in use, one of the most commonly used is Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), with over 2,500 identified in New Zealand. RDP has a number of weaknesses, which means when it is used over the internet it can be exploited by attackers, and is a leading contributor to the ransomware incidents that CERT NZ receives.

“It’s essential that organisations urgently review their remote access systems, and make sure these systems are as secure as they can be. You may need to talk to your IT team or service provider about how to do this,” says Michael Shearer, Principal Advisor – Threats and Vulnerabilities at CERT NZ.

CERT NZ is partnering with internet service providers to contact organisations that use internet-exposed RDP to provide advice on how they can make remote working more secure.

“Regardless of what technology organisations use to enable remote working, it’s important to keep your system up to date and enable two-factor authentication for logins.”

As RDP is often exploited by attackers to gain access to an organisation’s network, CERT NZ recommends organisations consider other options to enable remote working, such as a virtual private network (VPN). Good VPN solutions support two-factor authentication, which adds an extra layer of security, and are designed to be used over the internet.

More broadly, CERT NZ is concerned about the growing impact ransomware attacks are having on New Zealand.

“Recent events have brought to light the devastating effects a ransomware attack can have on an organisation. There’s been an increasing trend of these types of attacks globally over the past 18 months, and they’re only going to continue.”

CERT NZ has seen an increase in ransomware reports in the second quarter of 2021 (April to June), compared to the first quarter of the year. Reaching a total of 30 reports, this is the highest number of ransomware reports made to CERT NZ within one quarter.

“These figures do not paint a complete picture of the extent of ransom attacks in New Zealand. These numbers only reflect what has been reported to us, however conversations with our industry partners indicate there are a lot more attacks happening.”

CERT NZ will soon be releasing more guidance for organisations about how to protect themselves against ransomware. Organisations can keep up to date by following CERT NZ on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/certnz/.

If your organisation has been affected by a ransomware attack, report it to CERT NZ via our online reporting tool at www.cert.govt.nz/report, or our contact centre – 0800 CERT NZ.

For more information about securing an internet-exposed RDP, refer to the CERT NZ website: https://www.cert.govt.nz/business/guides/securing-your-internet-exposed-rdp-server/

About CERT NZ

CERT NZ is New Zealand’s Computer Emergency Response Team, and works to support businesses, organisations and individuals who are affected (or may be affected) by cyber security incidents. CERT NZ provides trusted and authoritative information and advice, while also collating a profile of the threat landscape in New Zealand.