Harvey O'Sullivan - 2019 Meritorious Award Recipient


It is a rare accolade; there are less than 20 recipients in almost a century of this industry body's lifetime.

This recognises an outstanding contribution to the power engineering industry by a visionary leader who has brought significant benefit to our electricity supply industry, and to New Zealand.

Our 18th recipient of the EEA Meritorious Service Award is Harvey O'Sullivan, Harvey O'Sullivan Consulting.

Awarded posthumously

Harvey was a graduate mechanical engineer from the University of Canterbury and a Fellow of Engineering NZ and held a Diploma of Maintenance Management and a Diploma of Business Administration. He started his industry career in the late 1970s with the construction of the Huntly Power station and left in 1991 as Mechanical Maintenance Manager for Huntly Power station.

From 1991 he worked for Electricity Corporation of New Zealand (ECNZ) as Technical Services Manager/Technical Specialist. His focus was in the strategic aspects of electricity production with an extensive overview of production and technical issues health and safety, compliance, and legislative changes.

He first joined the EEA in 1995 when we expanded our membership to include the generation and transmission sectors. His value as a safety/technical adviser, advocate and leader in industry was quickly recognised, and he was elected to the EEA Board in March 1996.

In 1999 he moved to the consulting sector working in the generation, transmission, oil and gas and high hazard sectors. Within these industries Harvey was the go-to person on workplace compliance, risk management and auditing, health and safety management systems development, training and critical business process and technical writing, policy, and procedure development. He was also a Senior Auditor for the ACC Partnership Programme.

Harvey was also the Vice Chairman of the Certification Board for Inspection Personnel (CBIP), which is the Qualification Issuing Agency for Pressure Equipment, Cranes and Passenger Ropeways (PECPR) Regulations 1999. The Board described Harvey as a fully active member who's vast knowledge, advice and contributions to safety are truly appreciated and irreplaceable.

Throughout, his career Harvey showed a passion for working with people to improve health and safety and willingness to share his considerable knowledge, experience and wisdom with others.

He has been a leader, advocate, adviser, and strong supporter of industry safety best practice. He was a pivotal contributor to the Safety Manual Electricity Industry (SMEI), EEA Work Practice guides, international and national standards (ME 001 Pressure Equipment - AS/NZS 1200 series), and reviewer of many EEA publications and other industry standards.

Much of his contributions have been through his involvement with EEA's Safety Standards and Procedures Group (SSPG), which he joined in 1996, was Secretary from 2001, and Chair from 2009. He also chaired the Generation Procedures Group (GPG). Harvey was awarded EEA Professional Development Award in 2007 and attended the Edison Electric Institute Occupational Safety & Health Conference, which he attended again in 2017. He was the Lead judge for EEA Safety Awards selection.

Harvey's family received the 2019 EEA Meritorious Service Award

Peter Berry, EEA Executive Director to Harvey's partner Michele, son Laurence and their families:

"You have the gratitude of an entire industry for enabling and supporting Harvey in his work for the EEA and industry for so long. Harvey was a great person and leader who has left a significant legacy of safety in our industry. He will be remembered for that and his passion for health and safety, his dry sense of humour, patience, intellect, and his courage".


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