Published date: 24 February 2022

The Civil Aviation Authority has made good progress in addressing the recommendations of the Ministerial Review [PDF 950 KB] into organisational culture.

Despite the challenges of COVID-19 and the disruptions following the sudden departure from Asteron Centre, progress on embedding a positive culture has continued to be a priority.

Much has been achieved since setting up Te Kākano programme and having a dedicated team to lead our activities. Going forward, the Authority’s commitment continues with our long-term actions being embedded in our ongoing people, culture and capability work programmes to ensure we continue to have a respectful, safe and inclusive workplace.

Our approach

The Authority established Te Kākano in June 2020. The focus was to plant the seeds for real, lasting change so that positive culture takes root and continues to grow. With the programme team in place till February 2022, it was tasked with leading the work required to address the Ministerial Review recommendations.

To support the programme and ensure that the voices of staff were heard, Te Kākano Taskforce was established in August 2020. The Taskforce, with input from many other staff, developed key foundational pieces to support the Authority to be an organisation we are all proud to work in.

As of February 2022, actions by Te Kākano have been integrated into the work of the Authority’s People Team. This is now led by the Deputy Chief Executive (DCE) People Culture and Capability with the support of the Chief Executive and the Authority Leadership Team.

Achievements to date

The Authority has made significant progress towards building a positive culture where people feel respected, safe and included. Our highlights include: 


  • Ensuring there were regular engagement opportunities for the Authority, our staff and unions to participate and consult on Te Kākano activities
  • Creating opportunities for our Taskforce members to engage with the Board to ensure staff voices continue being heard
  • Transitioning our Taskforce members to become Values Champions to help raise staff awareness of our foundation pieces of work and embed these into the way we do things.

People focussed actions, policies and process developments

  • Launching our values and continuing to embed these via our Values Champions, and our policies and processes
  • Developing a toolkit of resources for our Values Champions to lead positive activities and help grow a positive culture
  • Holding 94 Respect and Inclusion workshops across the organisation. These brought together over 1300 of our people to create a common understanding of our new values, discuss acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, and learn how to raise concerns and seek support
  • Creating a new policy to address bullying, harassment and discrimination
  • Providing a compulsory e-module on addressing bullying, harassment and discrimination for all staff
  • Setting up a complaints process to provide a safe space for staff to raise concerns relating to bullying, harassment and discrimination
  • Refreshing our external, confidential counselling service with expanded support for staff
  • Releasing a refreshed Code of Conduct and supporting resources to help us build and maintain the high standards of behaviour we are required to meet as highly skilled, professional public servants working in a Crown agency
  • Developing a Leadership Development Framework, which includes piloting a new management development programme.

Guiding our future direction

  • Conducting an annual survey and two pulse surveys with all staff to measure improvement in creating a positive workplace
  • Developing a range of strategies, which cover Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion, and Health, Safety and Wellbeing to ensure we continue to achieve lasting improvement.

Moving forward

While we have made considerable progress in addressing the recommendations from the review, an ongoing work programme for Te Kākano activities is in place to ensure the progress made to date continues through clear leadership, management and support from our People Team. This reflects the commitment of the Board, the Executive Leadership and Te Kākano Programme Team to embed a lasting, positive culture at the Authority.

The ongoing activities include:

  • Continuing development of our leadership and management capability by delivering strategies relating to Leadership, Health, Safety and Wellbeing, and Diversity and Inclusion
  • Continuing to regularly report bullying, harassment and discrimination matters, and activity progress to the Board
  • Continuing to ensure there are appropriate avenues for people to raise concerns
  • Continuing to offer Counselling and Employee Assistance services and further developing these, as appropriate
  • Designing and delivering wellbeing workshops to all staff
  • Implementing a peer support network
  • Reviewing further training that needs to be developed and offered
  • Continuing the strong working relationship with unions through regular engagement

Building, embedding and maintaining a positive culture takes time and Te Kākano has planted the seeds for real, lasting improvement. Now, as Te Kākano activities transition into our ongoing people, culture and capability work programmes, the Authority remains committed to continued and deliberate longer-term action to ensure we continue to have a respectful, safe and inclusive workplace.

By ensuring this work remains a priority, the Authority can impact positively on its own people, passengers, aviation participants and other key stakeholders, uphold its reputation as a trusted employer and regulator, and help keep New Zealand’s skies safe and secure.

Read the Te Kākano Progress Update February 2022 [PDF 234 KB]