Blind Low Vision NZ Welcome The End Of Board-commissioned … – Scoop


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Blind Low Vision NZ welcome the end of Board-commissioned Independent Inquiry into organisational culture and now look to a way forward.
An Independent Inquiry into organisational culture commissioned by Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB) Board, found that a longstanding poor workplace culture was made worse by significant transformation work initiated in 2019 but is improving thanks to a number of management initiatives.
In May 2021, the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB) Board of Directors announced its decision to conduct an independent Inquiry in response to issues raised by Blind Citizens NZ and allegations raised by the union, E tū, on behalf of employees at Blind Low Vision NZ.
The Inquiry was conducted by employment lawyer, Rob Towner who learned that the RNZFB Board-mandated transformation programme was in response to low outputs for the charity, well below international standards with significant delays in providing service to clients, sizeable overheads, low staff productivity and high staff turnover.
The changes to the organisation transformed it into a much more efficient, productive and modern charity which continues to provide excellent service to its members. The organisation is now much better placed to respond successfully to the significant challenges which charities are likely to face in New Zealand in coming years.
Towner also concluded that Chief Executive, John Mulka, who has faced great criticism since he took up the position, had acted within his remit and the criticism against him was largely unjustified. Further that the culture surveys dating back to 2012, 2015 and 2018 demonstrated that a poor workplace culture existed. Inadequate steps had been taken by the organisation prior to the appointment of the CEO to address its poor workplace culture. The organisational transformation worsened that existing poor culture, some of which was unavoidable, given the extent of the transformation. However Towner highlighted in his summary report concerted efforts from management combined with new initiatives – including the introduction of a four-day work week, a whistle-blower policy and measures against bullying and harassment – have already contributed to an improvement in workplace culture, as confirmed by a survey undertaken in May 2022.
“I, along with the Executive Leadership Team, wish to acknowledge the efforts by all concerned over the past 3 years to transform our organisation. The collective energy and necessary will to achieve transformative change is not taken for granted and most importantly greatly valued, respected and appreciated” says Mulka.
“Some of the remarkable and epic improvements are a testament to the collective determination of all connected to our organisation.”
Throughout the process Blind Low Vision NZ has maintained a view to learn from the experience, but most importantly create a positive way forward while maintaining a focus on the workforce and their positive engagement with the organisation.
Blind Low Vision NZ provides Kiwis who are blind, deafblind or have low vision with the practical and emotional support to do the things they need and want to do. Across New Zealand, we meet people in their homes or local Blind Low Vision NZ offices to provide them with personalised vision rehabilitation services. As well as supporting individuals, we seek to make big-picture change by advocating for inclusive communities and for optimal eye care services for all New Zealanders. Blind Low Vision NZ is a charity and is thankful to so many New Zealanders who choose to support our life changing work.
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