New Zealand Electrical Inspectors Association
Taranaki held its Ward meeting on the 11th of February in Stratford's TET Multisports Center. Meeting dates have been arranged for the remainder of the year - May 12th, Aug 11th and Nov 10th. The May meeting will feature a local WorkSafe NZ representative who will lead a presentation about the responsibilities of workers in the reporting and recording of accidents/incidents. Inspectors, like many others have often felt unsure about what they should do when they 'discover' non-compliant work, should they report it and if so, to who? We've also pondered about initiating any actions we, as inspectors, may be required to take and just what is this thing called 'duty-of-care'?
The Executive Ward held their first 2020 meeting on Wed Feb 19th in Palmerston North. There was some debate on the items discussed between NZEIA and the Board recently.
The feature presentation was led by Mr Athol Gibson where he explained the advantages of TNS connected installations over TN-C-S and the existing MEN system.
Comment - I can't help but think that if Network companies were required to maintain their networks to a better standard, one where broken or damaged neutral connections attached to their supply transformers are identified and remedied, then there wouldn't be any need to adopt other, sometimes confusing, methods of connection? Just saying!
The Northern Ward held their meeting in Matamata on Tuesday 25th of Feb with 15 members in attendance. Two visitors from the Western Ward were acknowledged and considerable time was given to the experiences of those of us who interact regularly with power Service Providers like PowerCo. Wel Networks, Trustpower etc. Their application for connection policies, notification requirements and pricing for services vary and can be confusing at times to inspectors, installers and the general public.
The next meeting for the South Island Southern Ward is on Wed 4th of March. A feedback report is expected about the discussions NZEIA held with the Board's late January. It will include a controversial subject where the Board is seeking to create practitioners Code of Ethics as a Section within the Act. Other topics will include a Q&A session, a quiz. The meeting is being led by Steve Pay of Neutral Inspections and members of the Executive are expected to be in attendance.
Check for details and minutes of meetings in your area on the NZEIA's official website: NZEIA.com
The Board as part of its consultation process is meeting with various Industry stakeholders including NZEIA to go over their 11-point plan to ask the government for changes to the Act. There is a section in the Act that requires the EWRB to review certain sections (not all) of the Act every 5 years. There were no changes resulting from the previous review.
COMMENT. Something is afoot. The Board seems intent on requesting a Code-of-Ethics provision in the Act. It hasn't presented any details or reasons why this would be a good thing other than to say it would 'just' align us with other trades. Bollocks, why would we want to? In my view the 'fit-and-proper' provisions that already exist in 4 different sections in the Act enable the Board to react to matters it might find objectionable about a person's suitability for registration and it also, quite correctly, directs them to give due regard to a person's adherence to electrical safety matters.
I suspect the days of our Board are numbered and that this is a MBIE driven initiative with an attempt to align our Act with those who have oversight of our near-relations, the Plumbers, Drainlayers & Gas Fitters Board and the Licensed Building practitioners Board. This could lead to the dissolution of all three Boards and enable the creation of a SuperBoard. Just what we need, NOT.
The current Board is proving to be an invisible force, one that wields its power to hurt errant practitioners from time to time. Grow a pair and recognise that Codes-of-Ethics are a matter between employer and employee, not of Nanny-State.
I see the Board is seeking applications from people wanting to become a member of the EWRB - applications close on March 4th and I noted the period of tenure is not included in the application form. I wonder why? Being a member of the Board is a good thing as long as their work is made visible and is based on what's good for practitioners, the general public and for Industry.