Civil Aviation Authority problems run deeper than boss - aviation industry

Deep-seated problems at the Civil Aviation Authority will not be solved by the resignation of the chair, according to the aviation industry.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford stepped in and asked CAA chair Nigel Gould to resign following months of revelations from Newshub about bullying, harassment and coverups.

But the industry says the problems at CAA run much deeper.

"Problems have been around for quite some time, and yes they do run much deeper," says John Nicholson, CEO of Aviation NZ.

For months Newshub has been revealing problems at the safety regulator, including multiple allegations of bullying and harassment from former and current employees.

It's toxic," one person, who can't be identified, told Newshub.

"It's a culture of secrecy and coverup."

Gould told Newshub he wasn't given a clear reason why he was asked to resign.

"He made it clear what he wanted to achieve, which was a change, but there was no discussion as to why," says Gould.

He's standing by the culture of the CAA.

"I'd say unhesitatingly it's excellent," he says.

"I don't think it's helpful shifting the blame to those who are making the complaints. In today's times, they deserve to be investigated properly and seriously," says Nicholson.

The Ministry of Transport will investigate the authority's workplace culture. 

The CAA admitted to Newshub earlier this month some complaints could have been covered up in the past and that some staff had been told "they need to be able to take a joke" when complaining of serious sexual harassment.

Just two weeks ago, Gould was dismissive of the claims, saying, "you've got to ask what their motive in going to the public the way they are."

Twyford is refusing to comment today but at the time faltered when asked if Gould's job was safe. 

When asked if Gould should resign, he replied: "I think that would be probably a step too far".

Behind the scenes, Newshub understands the Minister was seething. 

He now believes it's best to have fresh leadership while the CAA goes through some big changes.

If you have further information, contact Michael Morrah confidentially by emailing



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