Creating efficiencies through flexibility

A major highlight from the past year has been the agreement reached with unions on the need for staff to work flexible hours.

The long running dispute with the Maritime Union of New Zealand was settled and now all staff are working under the same rostering system. This has led to major efficiencies in how shifts are staffed.


We continue to place significant investment in leadership development for our people.

Many of our staff have been given opportunities to work across multiple departments and in projects to increase their understanding of the wider business.

Many managers have been trained in project management to help them run projects within their own business area. We have also started to introduce the Belbin® Team Roles profiling tool to assist with team dynamics.

A lot of work has been done with regard to succession planning with regular “talent panels” now established. Critical positions at all levels in the organisation have been identified and key staff are being targeted for specific development that will ensure we have people available to fill these positions in the future. This is to counter the strategic risk of key staff leaving our port without known replacement options.

Investment in the development of our staff has resulted in innovation and introduction of new technology, equipment and processes that are enabling us to achieve world class productivity.

We recently introduced aptitude testing when recruiting crane operators and earned an Innovation award from NZATD Education Trust Learning and Development Awards. We were also shortlisted for the Human Resources Institute of NZ HR Initiative of the Year award.

As well as major step changes, six sigma methodologies have been applied in a range of areas to refine what is already in place. Staff within our latest green belt cohort are working to improve health and safety practices, and make container movements and gate processes more efficient.

Over the last year our collaborative project management tool, i-lign, saw 170 ideas submitted from staff business wide. These ideas stimulated conversations, generating 916 comments and bringing 36 ideas to fruition. This has helped to build staff engagement and decrease incidents of departments working in isolation.







Celebrating Diversity

We have continued to place importance on embracing and celebrating diversity at our Ports. Since breaking down the barriers to entry, female stevedores have consistently ranked among the highest performers in terms of productivity and safety.

For the first time in our history, more than half of our high potential staff are female which earned us recognition in the EEO Trust Diversity Awards of 2014.

In recognition of the different cultures that make up our staff profile, we’ve continued to celebrate a number of cultural events in the workplace including the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali. In 2014 we celebrated Diwali for the seventh consecutive year with lunch and dinner organised by a group of port staff.

In early 2015, for the first time we held a hangi for our Waitematā based staff to celebrate Queen’s Birthday. We served over 300 meals across a lunch and dinner sitting and delivered our left over meals to the Auckland City Mission.

Supporting our Staff

Each year we commit part of our sponsorship portfolio to helping our staff in their sporting activities outside of the port.

In the last year our sponsorship has included helping Mt Albert Rugby League purchase new training gear, providing East Coast Bays Rugby League with funding for team petrol vouchers and assisting one of our stevedores to travel to Australia for training that will hopefully see him qualify for the Rio Olympics 2016 canoe sprint.

Working at our Port

Learn more about the various roles at the Port. POAL staff talk about what their role involves and the experience and skills needed to join their team.