Business Ethics Award Winner

New Zealand Post Ltd has demonstrated strong commit-
ment to employing and supporting people with disabilities. The company’s principles include: “To value our people and be good employer” and “To care for New Zealand through meeting our social obligation.”
The company’s Equal Employment Opportunity policy precludes discrimination on the basis of, among other things, mental and physical disability. It seeks to adapt the nature of the work or workplace wherever possible, to meet the needs of any employees who are or become disabled, or who need to be rehabilitated in some way.
The company makes considerable efforts to accommodate employees with wide range of disabilities, including those with significant disabilities such as cerebral palsy. For example, in one centre, paraplegic postal delivery person has been employed, and bicycle has been specially adapted. These commitments are long-term ones – one hearing-impaired staff member has been employed for over 40 years.
New Zealand Post is highly regarded by facilitators of employment opportunities for people with disabilities, such as The Edge and Workforce Personnel, from which representative commented that, “New Zealand Post goes lot further than most would in accommodating these peoplee co-workers go the extra mile to make these employees feel at home”.
This is pioneering work that also provides significant benefits to the company and other stakeholders. Both company and community have benefited: the company from having loyal and productive staff, while the wider community has benefited directly from having more taxpayers, and indirectly from higher level of social inclusiveness. This practice of employing and supporting people with disabilities is one in which there has been relatively little knowledge and interest from business but for which structures and support now exist for business to make much greater investment.

FINALISTS
FLETCHER CHALLENGE
For business and schools partnership
Fletcher Challenge Limited as South Auckland-based corporate, has recognised and risen to challenges in its own ?backyard’. For four years, Fletcher Challenge has partnered Tangaroa College in South Auckland, in an ambitious programme to provide hope and inspiration for some of the nation’s most disadvantaged children.
In 1996 Tangaroa College faced crisis – low morale, unmotivated children, governance and staff management issues. New principal Jim Peters recognised that money alone would not solve the problems, and approached Merv Taiaroa at Fletcher Challenge to tap into the skills and expertise of major corporate. Together, the two organisations drew up partnership statement recognising Fletcher’s contribution of advice, service, resources, expertise and relevant experience. Four years on, that statement still stands, testament to the spirit of trust underlying the partnership. The law firm, Bell Gully, joined the programme in 1997.
One tangible expression of the partnership is the student mentoring programme. Fletcher’s personnel spend time with students, and provide support and advice on issues from study to career options and life as university student. These students become role models for others.

METHANEX new zealand
For environmental policy
Methanex New Zealand has demonstrated leadership by clearly articulating and publishing detailed environmental policy. Methanex New Zealand is wholly-owned subsidiary of its Canadian parent, Methanex Corporation. As company in the chemical business, its activities potentially have major impact on the environment.
Methanex New Zealand has been verified as complying with the Responsible Care¨ Ethic, voluntary initiative by the Chemical Industry Councils in both Canada and New Zealand, designed to foster continuous improvement in health, safety and environmental performances as well as sensitivity and responsiveness to public concerns.
The environment is carefully considered in the company’s corporate governance manual, its business planning and various policies, processes and procedures. This extends beyond the company into the wider community.

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