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


Happy New Year from all of the staff here at NZALPA. 

At the beginning of this new decade we look forward to all the challenges and opportunities ahead of us, especially as New Zealand’s Voice of Aviation. 

It is an especially important year for NZALPA, as we will celebrate our 75th anniversary in October. 

NZALPA’s relationship with the CAA 

Our focus at the start of 2020 is to progress the relationship agreement between the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and NZALPA. Members will recall that this agreement was an outcome of the meeting NZALPA had in July 2019 with the Minister of Transport, Hon Phil Twyford, and the Director of the CAA, Graeme Harris. 

NZALPA offered our support and resources to the Minister and the CAA in the immediate aftermath of serious bullying allegations and culture issues which threatened to undermine the CAA’s ability to effectively carry out its regulatory function. This offer was welcomed by the Minister and we were invited to meet him and the CAA Director to discuss this in more detail. We were fortunate to have both outgoing President Tim Robinson, and incoming President Andrew Ridling involved in these high level discussions. 

The specific details that make up this relationship agreement, or charter, between our two organisations are a priority for us to finalise, setting the relationship on a firm footing that will take us into a new era. 

CAA Chair and board

We look forward to briefing the newly appointed CAA Chair, Janice Fredric, and the CAA board in person later in February about the relationship agreement and progressing it to completion, while we await the findings of the review of CAA organisational culture.

Commissioned by the Minister around the same time as the resignation of the former CAA Chair, this independent review of the CAA was tasked with reviewing the reports of bullying and harassment to understand how they were addressed, conducting a workplace culture assessment, and ensuring CAA has appropriate policies, procedures and prevention controls for managing bullying and harassment.

Protection of vulnerable contractors 

This edition of Uplink has an article by NZALPA Solicitor, John Hall, who has been working on NZALPA’s submission to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s discussion document on the protection of vulnerable contractors. 

It’s easy to think that this issue does not affect us in our industry. Sadly, however, this is something that we have been grappling with for some time, as we try to tackle atypical employment models in the aviation industry. 

Our European colleagues are very familiar with the practices of some airlines using pseudo ‘contractor’ arrangements to get around employment and statutory minimum legislation, leaving pilots in precarious and vulnerable positions when they try to assert their legal rights under the law. 

We know that New Zealand is not immune from such practices, with some airlines still choosing to misclassify employees as contractors, or to operate shell companies contracting to their parent company to provide labour. 

We welcome the Government’s review of this problematic area of employment law and NZALPA will take an active interest and keep our membership informed of developments throughout 2020. 

Elsewhere on the 2020 calendar, the proposed new Civil Aviation Bill is expected to finally enter the House, and will hopefully become law by the end of the year. It also of course a general election year and we’ll begin profiling the policy areas that are likely to affect our membership and the wider industry now that the election date has been announced. 

We’re buckling up for an interesting year!



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