We safeguard the rights, health and safety of the Blue Whanau
We all want a fair crack of the whip. At The Foundation we are experts in health and safety, and we use this knowledge to help you. We want a healthy and safe Police Service for New Zealanders. We are a not-for-profit organisation and a registered charity CC60610.
This started in 2021 when Dr Garth den Heyer conducted a study into the prevalence of PTSD in serving and retired New Zealand police officers. That study found “Approximately 43% of survey respondents identified themselves as experiencing probable post-traumatic stress and approximately 14% identified themselves as having clinically relevant, post-traumatic stress” The side effects of PTSD are amongst other things – suicide, and depression
PTSD among police officers is a workplace injury, and as such comes under the provision of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
This study provides the reasoning behind our organisation. We seek to reduce PTSD and other workplace injuries among serving and retired police officers. We do not provide counselling or other treatments – ACC have the mandate and expertise for treating workplace injuries. The Foundation connects police workers with ACC and ensures that police workers are represented and receive fair treatment.
The foundation seeks to:
- To relieve injury caused in the workplace by connecting injured police workers to ACC, which depending on the nature of the injury, can take legal expertise through ACC lawyers and employment lawyers
- To advance health and safety education by connecting with the Police governance board, and police workers and link the expectations of the health and safety at work act
- To be beneficial to the community by retaining a healthy police workplace, and retention of police workers
- Reduction of suicide brought about by PTSD injuries in the workplace
Dr Joerg Kussmaul
In the 1990s, I trained as a paramedic in the UK. I worked in and around London. After moving back to New Zealand, I joined the Police in 2001. I served in uniform for 15 years. I was involved in the shooting and capture of a rampaging offender in Wellington in 2007. I was later honoured with the New Zealand Bravery Star and have the honour afforded to me by her Majesty the Queen to have post-nominal letters behind my name (NZBS). Later I went on to pursue a health and safety career.
PTSD has been an ongoing struggle for me since 2007, the workplace injury wasn’t diagnosed until 2018. Along the way, I have learnt about the process of ACC and workplace injuries and the employment Act, which has resulted in Hatikvah: Blue Hope Foundation being started for the benefit of the blue whanau, both serving and retired. We use our experience in health and safety and policing to safeguard the rights, health and safety of the blue whanau. “It’s not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It’s because we do not dare that they are difficult”. (Seneca)
Mike Bush CNZM 32nd Commissioner of Police.
Mike joined the New Zealand Police in 1978, working at both CIB and Frontline Policing. As he progressed through the ranks he was appointed to senior roles, including Liaison Officer for Southeast Asia. This position was held by Mike at the time of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. He was the first New Zealand official on the scene of this incident, arriving on Phuket to assist with relief. In the 2006 New Year Honours, he was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for his relief work. He was also awarded the New Zealand Special Service Medal (Asian Tsunami) recognising this work.
Upon appointment to the role of Commissioner of Police in 2014, Mike made several changes focused on operational models and culture. These included the introduction of a “Prevention First” operating model, where the primary focus of policing resources would be on crime prevention. Mike introduced additional core values of “Empathy” and “Valuing Diversity” in an effort to make cultural changes following the 2007 Commission of Inquiry into Police. Bush was reappointed to the role of commissioner in 2017 for a second term that ran until April 2020.
In the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours, Mike was promoted to Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to the New Zealand Police and the community.
Mike was appointed to lead the operational arm of the COVID-19 All-of-Government Response Group on 23 March 2020 and continued to hold this role after retiring from the New Zealand Police in April 2020.
Since leaving the police, Mike is working in consulting
GML is for police who have been decorated and is a good place to liaise with others