Keith Manch new boss of Civil Aviation Authority after poor culture and bullying findings

Public service veteran Keith Manch has been appointed head of the Civil Aviation Authority, which was found to have a poor workplace culture in a report out earlier this year.

In May then chief executive of CAA Graeme Harris quit ahead of a review of the agency’s culture which found examples of poor culture and inappropriate workplace behaviour.

Chairwoman Janice Fredric apologised for the failures following the review.

A review found;”a poor approach to managing employee wellbeing and ensuring a healthy culture. This includes instances where allegations of bullying and harassment were not appropriately addressed.”

Manch has worked in the public sector since 1977 and has been chief executive and director of Maritime New Zealand for the last nine years.

Fredric said the appointment came after a rigorous recruitment process inNew Zealand and overseas.

“Keith will lead the Civil Aviation Authority and Aviation Security Service through an important period as our teams continue to respond to the challenges and opportunities posed by Covid-19 and the effects the global pandemic is having on New Zealand’s aviation community,” she said.

“Although Keith does not have an aviation background, he brings a robust understanding of regulating complex systems, and keenly appreciates the importance of maintaining safety and security in New Zealand’s aviation system.”

Manch will be joining the Authority in February 2021.Shelley Turner has been acting director and chief executive since May.

Sector group, Aviation NZ, welcomed his appointment which provided some certainty in our relationship with CAA.

”While Mr Manch has no aviation background, he does have considerable regulatory and policy experience and will have gained broad-ranging safety experience from his time with Maritime New Zealand,” said Aviation NZ’s Andrew Nicholson.

“We look forward to meeting Mr Manch and establishing a close working relationship with him,” concluded Nicholson.

After starting his working life in the Police, Manch has worked at the Commerce Commission, as the general manager of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, as the general manager of gambling and censorship compliance at the Department of Internal Affairs, as the general manager integrity services at the Ministry of Social Development and as deputy secretary, regulation and compliance at the Department of Internal Affairs.

Immediately prior to joining Maritime NZhe was, for a short period of time, the chief executive of the Real Estate Agents Authority – the Crown agency responsible for regulating real estate agents.

He has a Master of Communications degree from Victoria University and is an alumni of the Government advanced leadership programme.

Manch joined Maritime NZ two months after the container ship Rena grounded on Astrolabe Reef off Tauranga.Maritime NZ was later criticised in a report for initially buckling under the pressure of the disaster.

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