This month we interview Charter member Barry Wehi, Barry recently graduated from the University of Canterbury have completed a ‘Masters of Business’ achieving a Distinction pass. His final project was a 9-month research report for the Canterbury Safety Charter.
What inspired you to pursue your MBA?
I had arrived at the right age and stage of life. My children are in high school, and I felt that it was time to get some new skills on board. I was ready for another challenge!
You run your own business – how did you do an MBA on top?
A supportive family is key. My wife supported me and I think it’s good for my kids to see dad doing something different. You do have to know what you’re getting yourself into. It takes a lot of organisation, and you do have to give up some stuff.
Why did you choose the Canterbury Safety Charter as your final research project?
I had seen what the Charter has done in Canterbury and believe in the work it is trying to achieve. I really feel that health and safety is essential to everyone and I wanted to support an organisation that promotes that.
What did the research cover?
I interviewed quite a few different members from various industries within the construction sector. I was looking for views on different aspects of the Charter. Areas where it performs really well and areas where it could improve. The fundamental goal was to provide recommendations for the Charter to assist with its work going forward.
What is the Charter doing well?
People and business love the Charter and do support its role in the community. They value the role it plays in improving health and safety standards. The events and workshops in particular, were seen as incredibly valuable, people enjoy the speakers, workshops and the food! The Charter is the only organisation that provides an environment where people from all backgrounds can network, workshop and share ideas together.
Where can the Charter improve?
Members do not feel as engaged as they would like to be and communication is an area that can be improved. Many members feel the Charter is doing good work but are unable to identify exactly what the Charter does. Members advised they would like greater clarification of the Charters Values, Mission and Goals is required.
What were some of the recommendations?
There were 12 recommendations in total. From a practical viewpoint, information about events, industry changes and Charter news was wanted. The Charter provides some great resources; however, many members (and potential members) are unaware of what the Charter can do for them. In the short term recommendations included a phone call to all members, member visits, an updated website and an online digital marketing presence.
Long term it would be good for the Charter to communicate its vision, mission and goals, so they are easily understood. A review of the requirements for membership would provide clarity for members. Other long term recommendations include expanding the Charters membership to include all industries (other than construction) and cultivating partnerships with multinationals.
Final comments about the Charter?
Health and safety is more than paperwork it’s about people. People working together, caring and supporting one another. Again the Charter is the only place that really provides this type of support.
Where to next for you?
It’s been 4 years since I started and I am very relieved to be finished. It’s quite a strange time now (Covid-19), and it will probably be a tough wee while for everyone going forward. Navigating through the next year will be critical.