Articles

Education Vetting in New Zealand

Tuesday July 18, 2017

Rob Gold, Principal Adviser, Employment for NZSTA and is the subject matter expert for the organisation for employment related matters. He is currently acting in the role of Operations Manager and, as such, oversees the governance and employment support for NZSTA nationally. Prior to joining NZSTA, Rob was a sole practitioner running his own employment law practice and, before that, spent over 20 years in Police in operational, administrative 

and leadership roles. Rob is an experienced employment lawyer, employment relations practitioner, human resources manager, investigator and coach. He has significant experience in coaching manager's in performance management, conducting employment investigations, dispute resolution, collective bargaining and dealing with conflict.

Rob Gold

You can hear more from Rob at Education Law Wellington: New Changes, New Legal Risks seminar, being held on Tuesday 19 September at The InterContinental Wellington.

He joined Ashleigh Tesluk of Legalwise Seminars to discuss issues about education law.

You can find the full Q&A below.

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself, Rob (experience, what you’re working on. etc)

I’m currently the Acting Operations Manager for New Zealand School Trustees Association. I started they in March 2016, originally employed as the Principal Adviser Employment. I came from sole practice as an employment lawyer and, prior to that, I had over 20 years in the New Zealand Police in a range of operational, administrative and strategic roles. In the employment space, I have experience as an employment lawyer, employment relations practitioner as well as a human resources manager and bring a pragmatic approach to problem solving. NZSTA has gone through significant change in the past two years, moving from a reactive service to a preventative one. We continue to develop our service model to enable us to best support boards of trustees.

Your topic is ‘Here a Vet. There a Vet. Everywhere a Police Vet: Education Vetting in New Zealand’. In brief, what will you’re topic cover and why is it so important right now?

The safety of children in the education sector is paramount. Everyday we entrust our children to adults who have significant time and opportunity to do bad things. It is vital that there are systems and processes in place to mitigate risk to the children. This presentation focuses on the vetting side of safety checking and discusses some of the unintended consequences and provides some suggestions for streamlining the service.

Who is directly affected/ at risk and why?

Both children and adults are at risk if we don’t get this right. The children have a direct risk but adults carry risk also if we don’t get it right. No one wants to be on the board of trustees that didn’t follow proper process and, as a result, a child gets harmed.

If there were 3 critical areas that schools Principals, Board of Trustee members or others working in or with schools need to be aware of when dealing with police vetting and what would they be?

Trust your instincts, seek advice and don’t simply rely on a police vet.

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