Published date: 17 September 2021

The Civil Aviation Authority, including the Aviation Security Service, is seeing positive change since launching the Te Kākano culture change programme in June 2020, following the release of the Ministerial Review into organisational culture. While much has been achieved, we recognise that there is still work to do to ensure the Authority is a respectful, safe and inclusive place to work.

Our approach

The Authority has taken a strategic, phased approach to delivering a positive and enduring culture following the 2020 Ministerial Review. The Te Kākano programme priorities have remained flexible, which has allowed us to consider, adjust and respond to staff feedback. This has ensured the foundations are in place to support the Authority to be an organisation we are all proud to work in.

Te Kākano aims to create a positive culture where our people feel respected, safe, included and empowered, and are supported to perform their roles. Critical to our approach is living our values, which guide how we work and the behaviours we expect from each other.

A staff-led approach has been a key element in achieving success so far. We have listened to and invested in our staff, and we are prioritising building leadership capability.

Establishing the foundations for a positive culture

Improving our workplace culture and supporting the wellbeing of our people will support us in our role as a modern safety and security regulator and make us more effective at keeping New Zealanders safe and secure when they take to the skies.

In the past 12 months the Authority has made significant progress with Te Kākano. Work is underway to address the Review’s recommendations, with multiple actions in progress. Of the report’s 31 recommendations, 29 are now complete, or partially complete. You can view progress made against the recommendations from the Ministerial Review in the Status Report to see how these are tracking: Te Kākano Status Report - 30 June 2021. [PDF 505 KB]

Results from our recent internal Culture Change Pulse Survey have highlighted that we are seeing improvements across the Authority. We see an overall positive shift in the year since our previous 2020 pulse survey, with some improved results relating to team culture and some positive feedback about the series of Respect and Inclusion workshops we held for all CAA and Avsec staff.

Achievements to date

The Authority has developed a range of strategies and policies to ensure we have the foundations in place to achieve lasting improvement. These cover areas such as Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion, and Health, Safety and Wellbeing.

A new Addressing Workplace Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination policy improves accountability and sets clear expectations of what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour in the Authority.

In addition to a new annual staff survey, we ran two pulse surveys seeking feedback from staffto measure the progress of behaviour improvement across the Authority. We also heard from staff in two further surveys to inform the development of our values and the refresh of our Code of Conduct.

Ensuring staff feel safe to speak up and raise concerns is a significant theme from the recommendations of the Ministerial Review. We set up an interim complaints process working alongside an external provider. We also refreshed our external, confidential counselling service with expanded support for staff. These options provide a range of channels for our people to raise concerns or seek support, so they feel supported to speak up and raise concerns.

In order to embed a positive culture, we’ve also invested in making sure our people understand how we work together and what support is available to them by holding 94 Respect and Inclusion workshops across the organisation. More than 1300 of our people came together to create a common understanding of our new values and discuss what is and what is not acceptable behaviour in a modern public service workforce. These workshops have also supported staff to deal with issues in a common language and ensure they understand what options are available to seek support and to raise concerns.

Moving forward

While we have made good progress, we acknowledge there is more work to do. A priority focus continues to be putting our values into action. We’re working to integrate our values into all our strategies, policies and systems and actively promote what living our values look like in the way we do our jobs every day. We have a group of internal Change Champions to support this work, which includes staff from across the country passionate about ensuring the Authority is a great place to work.

Recent pulse survey results emphasise the importance of continuing to build leadership capability and growing trust in leadership. A strong focus for Te Kākano is to raise the capability of managers and leaders to confidently and appropriately manage issues and concerns raised by staff, in a timely manner. This is underpinned by the development of a Leadership Development Framework which includes piloting a new management development programme.

We have developed and are rolling out an e-learning module to support our people to understand and apply the new Addressing Workplace Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination policy.

And we are reviewing the Authority’s Code of Conduct, informed by staff feedback to ensure it is refreshed to be more modern, inclusive and reflect our values and expected behaviours.

Future work programme

The Authority continues to take action to address all recommendations from the Ministerial Review.

Given our phased approach, not all recommendations from the Review will be fully implemented by the project target date of February 2022. A future work programme for Te Kākano will be put in place to ensure work done so far supports the continued development of a positive culture through clear leadership, management and support from our People Team. This will include developing an effective permanent complaints process, continuing to build leadership capability, introducing a Health, Safety and Wellbeing Management System, developing a wellbeing framework and running wellbeing workshops for all staff, delivering training to further support addressing workplace bullying, harassment and discrimination and establishing a Peer Support Network.

We are also very aware that building, embedding and maintaining a positive culture takes time. With the focus of the Te Kākano programme being to plant the seeds for real, lasting improvement the Authority will need continued and deliberate long-term action.

A final Status Report will be completed and published in February 2022, when the formal Te Kākano programme comes to a close.

A positive culture will flow through to our relationships with industry and stakeholders

Although the focus of the Ministerial Review was on the Authority’s workplace internally, our work to build a positive culture will carry through and influence how our teams interact with passengers and participants in New Zealand’s aviation sector.

Since we launched our programme, we have heard increasingly positive feedback about our teams from a range of stakeholders.

We are also continuing to embed our values into the way we work, and ensure these values are enshrined in our important regulatory and accountability documents, such as our Statement of Intent and the Regulatory Strategy currently being developed. We will continue to reinforce these values internally so that these underpin our engagement with participants and our stakeholders.