It's our time!

HASANZ CONFERENCE 2016 is looming large and registrations are streaming in.

For me, this is much more than an event – it's a milestone in building a community of practice among workplace health and safety professionals in New Zealand. The conference will be a buzzing marketplace for the exchange of ideas, knowledge and, I expect, more than a few good laughs. Discussion and debate will be at the forefront of two full days of stimulating inspiration in the coolest little capital in the world.

It's our time. Never before in New Zealand have health and safety professionals had such an opportunity to demonstrate and grow our value to business.

HASANZ CONFERENCE 2016 will be a reminder that, although we are making good progress in raising health and safety standards, we can't afford to be complacent. Fundamental weaknesses are still being addressed and we could easily go backwards quite quickly.

The conference gives us an opportunity to do a stock take on how well we're doing and collectively help define the important next steps.

We know that to succeed in changing behaviours, we need to win hearts and minds and clearly communicate the "why?".

But the heart and soul of the conference is the sense of community it fosters. HASANZ has a role as its guardian.We seek to be truly representative of all health and safety professionals in New Zealand and this isn't a two-day wonder - we're in it for the long haul.

Craig Smith