A Northpower employee has won the Supreme category in the prestigious Transpower STAR Awards.
Matt Iorangi, Northpower's learning and development manager, was given the accolade after also winning the Thought Leadership Award.
As well, the Northpower Live Electricity Working Group was also nominated for the Team Safety Award, while the Northpower Kaitiaki Network was nominated for the Hauora Wellbeing Award.
Transpower's STAR Awards – which stands for Safety Thanks and Recognition – are held every two years and champion best practice to highlight the exceptional work delivered by individuals and teams in the electricity transmission sector – the very people keeping the lights on for everyone in New Zealand.
Sixty-six nominations were received for Transpower's 2021 STAR Awards and an independent panel of judges shortlisted these to 17 finalists across six award categories.
In announcing Iorangi's win, the judges said he was a relatable role-model to his colleagues, an enabler and facilitator for middle management, with a reputation that gains the confidence and trust of senior management. Judges also noted his work fosters safety participation and leadership from the ground up, encouraging collaboration as teams solve problems and innovate to mitigate critical risks.
"For me it is about the work we are all doing at Northpower as part of a team," Iorangi said.
"One of the key parts of our work are our 'National Safety Forums' which we have taken to everyone throughout the business. We have an obligation to have safety discussions with every employee at all levels of the business. That means communication up and down the chain and that's pretty special.
"Our people are our biggest asset. If you don't look after your people you are in the wrong business."
Northpower said it prides itself on health and safety and is pleased with Iorangi's achievements.
The past year has seen Northpower regroup business-wide around how it addresses safety.
The electricity lines company for Whangārei and Kaipara said it increasingly prioritises enabling safety participation and leadership from the ground up, as opposed to a top down model. This encourages collaboration as teams to solve problems and innovate to mitigate critical risks at a local level.
Northpower's National Safety Forum brings together groups of people from operational teams all over the business, who use their skill, expertise and insight to test and develop operational practices through a health and safety lens. As chairman of National Safety Forum, Iorangi has been instrumental in making it a success for Northpower.
Prior to taking on his management role, Iorangi, a qualified line mechanic, was an important member of the Northpower transmission team. This invaluable "on the tools" experience gives him a great insight into the everyday challenges and health and safety issues, with the ability to relate to teams across the company.