Uplink ALPA - The Voice of Aviation

The New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association Newsletter. As of April 2020 Uplink ALPA is a 6-monthly publication.

General Manager's note


We’ve reached the time of year when many of us reflect and celebrate the achievements of the past 12 months before focusing on what we want to achieve in the coming year. 

NZALPA has much to celebrate in terms of 2019 highlights. 

Legal advocacy 

During the year we negotiated an unprecedented number of greenfield collective agreements: Virgin Australia NZ; L3Harris; Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust; Airways Flight Services; Air New Zealand Regional. We’ve also recently started Tasman Cargo negotiations and expect to start Air New Zealand Simulator instructors before the end of the year. Our industrial advocates and their negotiating teams have been extremely busy with these and other collective negotiations and have achieved some excellent settlements. New advocate Rachel Piriou barely had her feet under the desk before she was involved in negotiations with Helicopters New Zealand. You can read more about Rachel and other new NZALPA staff serving our members HERE

Ratification of the Air Nelson and Mount Cook single Regional Air New Zealand Collective Agreement – Pilots (helpfully abbreviated to RANCAP) is not the end of NZALPA involvement. We are still working on the implementation of this agreement, which will ultimately see all turbo prop regional pilots employed by Air New Zealand, rather than the current subsidiaries. 

Unfortunately, we also had to face the cessation of Jetstar’s regional Q300 Bombardier flights at the end of last month, impacting around 50 of our members. NZALPA was there to support those pilots throughout the consultation process and we are relieved that it looks like all of those pilots will be able to take up new roles within the group; which is the best possible outcome.

Technical and safety 

Our Technical department crafted comprehensive submissions on the Exposure Draft of the Civil Aviation Bill, and liaised extensively with the Ministry during its consultation phase to ensure our views were understood and, hopefully, will be reflected in the new legislation. 

Although it is the Government’s intention to have the final Civil Aviation Act passed through all stages of Parliament during the third quarter of 2020, the Exposure Draft has not yet gone to Cabinet as a draft Civil Aviation Bill and it looks likely there will be wider public consultation before that occurs. While we are anxious to see the new Act in place, it is an extremely important piece of legislation and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get it right, so we are comfortable with the process being followed and the opportunities for input by us and other industry interests. 

Following the serious allegations of bullying at the CAA, NZALPA offered our resources to the CAA to assist it in dealing with issues of importance to aviation industry stakeholders. Our offer was accepted by the Minister of Transport and late last month we met with Minister Twyford to discuss progress on the Relationship Charter drafted for agreement between NZALPA and CAA. We want to ensure the CAA is as effective as it can be given the critical nature of its responsibility to oversee aviation safety.

NZALPA also continued to lobby on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) and lasers and you can read more about our efforts in Tim Robinson’s article on page 16. We have also continued our active lobbying on air traffic control staffing issues, pilot supply and other issues of importance to members and our industry. 


NZALPA’s Peer Assistance Network team received national recognition at the Workplace Health and Safety Awards as a finalist in the ‘Best initiative to promote better worker health’ category. The awards are now an annual highlight for those involved in the prevention of work injury and ill health and our entry shone through as one of more than 150 entries this year.


Our Membership Working Group reviewed NZALPA’s eligibility and membership categories as a result of an action point from our Conference 2018. The group’s draft recommendations were recently evaluated by a peer review team made up of a selection of past and current board members, honorary life members, administration heads and other volunteers. The recommendations are now finalised and are awaiting board approval before being put to a member vote. 

During the year we took over the downstairs northern office at ALPA House to create much needed additional meeting room space.

Considerable time and resource went into refreshing the Erebus website (erebus.co.nz) in time for the 40th anniversary late last month. NZALPA hosts and maintains this website in memory of those who lost their lives on Erebus, the lessons learned and the changes that resulted. 

Coming up in 2020 

A highlight for 2020 will be our 75th anniversary celebrations in October. Preparations are already well underway and we have sent invitations to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Transport and the Leader of the Opposition to be part of our celebrations. With a general election sometime between now and late November, we needed to get in early. There will be more details on anniversary events early next year.

We await the outcomes of the independent review into culture at the CAA, as well as the separate investigation into allegations of bullying, harassment and ineffective leadership at AVSEC, the government aviation security provider. 

Our work programme for 2020 is rapidly filling. We will be preparing our next round of written and oral submissions as soon as the Civil Aviation Bill is introduced to the House and proceeds to the select committee stage.

We will also be monitoring the reform of the Incorporated Societies Act, and preparing written submissions once the new Incorporated Societies Bill is introduced to the House early in the new year. 

It will be another full-on year for NZALPA. 

Happy holidays to you all. I hope you get to spend some quality time with family and friends.



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