Report lays secure foundations for state sector following Ashburton tragedy


The Public Service Association (PSA) says the Independent review of the security environment for the Ministry of Social Development, commissioned following the tragic shootings at the Ashburton Work and Income office, lays the groundwork for ensuring the safety of all public sector workers.

Richard Wagstaff, PSA national secretary, said “Coming out of this awful tragedy is the opportunity for us to do something significant for security of workers across the state sector,”

“The twelve recommendations in this report set the framework for the next stage of work, including issues raised by our members, such as the need for better ongoing training for dealing with aggressive client behaviour and improving reporting.

“The PSA was proud to play a role on the advisory group for this report, representing the views of our 6400 members at MSD.

“We are pleased to see the report discuss implications for the wider state sector, as so many lessons MSD has learned should be applied more widely.

“The report shows the opportunity for better alignment of security guards across agencies, and direct employment of these guards would enhance the service they provide.

“Joint up government projects also carry new security risks, and this must be a consideration during the development of these projects.

“We are also pleased to see the review addressing the issue of the relationship with 3rd party providers as we have many members working for those organisations, many of which do not have adequate security arrangements.

“Security must be among the first considerations when leasing, purchasing, or redeveloping property, rather than just an afterthought.

“The PSA is passionate about the right of our members to be safe at work, and we look forward to working alongside government departments to ensure this,” said Richard Wagstaff.


Independent review of the security environment for the Ministry of Social Development - Phase 2 report