Published date: 29 January 2021

The Civil Aviation Authority launched a comprehensive culture change programme following the release of the Ministerial Review into our organisational culture [PDF 950 KB] in May 2020.

Since then our Te Kākano culture change programme has made significant progress as it has worked to implement the review’s 31 recommendations and to build a respectful, inclusive and safe workplace culture for all our Civil Aviation Authority and Aviation Security Service staff.

The programme has taken a staff-led approach with a taskforce made up of staff and union representatives helping to review and update our policies and procedures for dealing with issues in the workplace. The programme’s work has also been informed by feedback we have received from industry, including at public meetings the acting Director of Civil Aviation held in 2020.

The Te Kākano programme’s progress

To date the Te Kākano taskforce has led the development of a new set of Authority values which we shared with industry in our October 2020 CAA Briefing, and a revised policy outlining how we address issues of bullying, harassment and discrimination. The taskforce is now working on an updated Code of Conduct which will reflect our new values and our high expectations of staff behaviour and conduct.

We have also launched a series of Respect and Inclusion workshops for all our staff, which have been designed to equip our people with the tools they need to handle any issues that arise in the workplace, and to build a shared understanding of what behaviour is and isn’t acceptable in a modern public sector workplace.

One of the key recommendations in the Ministerial Review was for the Authority to run a staff engagement survey as a matter of urgency. Since then we have held two staff surveys which have provided vital staff feedback to help guide the Te Kākano programme team and show that we are starting to make real progress. Between July and October 2020 we recorded an 8 percent increase in staff feeling there was a culture of respect and trust in their team, and a 6 percent increase in staff saying they were treated fairly and were a valued part of their team. Culture change can take a number of years to embed in any organisation, but it is encouraging to start seeing the green shoots of change.

Culture change to 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 respectful and inclusive culture will carry through and influence how our teams interact with passengers and participants in New Zealand’s aviation sector.

Since we launched our culture change programme we have heard increasingly positive feedback about our teams from a range of stakeholders. We are committed to acting on all feedback we receive from our stakeholders and participants, so if you have any suggestions which will help us to build that respectful and inclusive culture, please contact the Te Kākano culture change programme team at

We are also planning to run a stakeholder engagement survey in 2021 which will give us more insight into how we are tracking with our external relationships. We will ensure the results of this survey are fed through to the culture change programme to provide additional context about the Authority’s culture more broadly. We will also share these results publicly once we have had the opportunity to share them with our teams internally.

We are planning to provide further updates about the Te Kākano programme every six months.