Wed 30 Oct 2019

Industry specialists share HR expertise

A team of legal and human resources industry experts shared their knowledge and real-life experiences with WITT students on campus last week. The 90-minute interactive training session presented students with an insight into the disciplinary process in New Zealand.

Two representatives from local law firm Auld Brewer Mazengarb and McEwen (ABMM) - Associate Sean Maskill and Employment relations consultant Diana Koorts – joined Catherine Lo-Giacco, Branch President of Human Resources New Zealand (HRNZ) Taranaki and HR Manager at Port Taranaki, to share their expertise.

Tutor Linda Cox organised the event for students studying the Bachelor of Applied Management and New Zealand Diploma in Business as well as a stand-alone Leadership course. She said the invitation was open to international students from outside these programmes as well.

“The session was for students studying Advanced HR, Contemporary Issues HR, and Leadership – as the disciplinary process is an issue they will deal with in their working lives,” she said. “We also invited international students along, as they will be working in New Zealand but may not have experience of our employment law processes and good practice.”

The session, which covered a number of HR issues mainly through role play, gave students the chance to watch the disciplinary process play out with lots of opportunities to ask questions and give feedback. Linda said it was important to include external parties that can bring real-life experience and expert knowledge to the event.

“It is good to use the community partnerships we have with local business,” she said. “To have experts in their field playing roles and debriefing learning provides a comfortable but valuable learning experience for the students.”

Student participation was strong throughout the session, with plenty of discussion and student response to the scenarios playing out. Linda said the HR and Leadership students all reported that they gained useful knowledge.

“Although we have covered these topics in class, they valued hearing from experts. In particular, hearing from Sean – an employment lawyer - about how to handle situations with respect and care for the person whilst still managing the process.

“The feedback from international students was that they found it useful to understand what is and is not acceptable in New Zealand employment situations.”

To find out more about studying HR or Applied Management at WITT, head to