Message from Chief Executive Officer George Verry
As we head toward the Christmas and New Year break, it is hugely satisfying to reflect on the excellent advocacy and support services the UFBA has delivered to our members over the year.
At last year’s UFBA Conference, Minister Dunne announced the proposed future structure for our fire services. Since then, the actions we have taken have involved many hours of work with DIA officials, the New Zealand Fire Service Commission and the FENZ Transition Team.
Our effective advocacy this year
The large number of actions we have taken to represent members’ interests include:
- UFBA and FRFANZ signing a Memorandum of Understanding to work together
- A plain language analysis of the FENZ Bill
- A joint UFBA/FRFANZ member consultation roadshow covering 14 key areas of the country
- An online consultation survey inviting 4,350 individuals to ‘have their say’
- A joint UFBA/FRFANZ submission on the FENZ Bill
- A joint UFBA/FRFANZ address at the Select Committee hearing on the Bill
- Signing a Transitional Advocacy and Support Agreement with NZFSC.
Through the actions we have taken, we are regarded by the NZFSC/FENZ Transition Team as a key stakeholder and partner as we work toward transitioning to a successful new organisation.
UFBA/FRFANZ are taking a partnership approach with the FENZ Transition Team on the co-design of many facets of FENZ and its workings.
These include the volunteer relationship with FENZ, terms of engagement, support for volunteers (Volunteer Charter), dispute resolution scheme, gratuities and Local Committee pilots.
UFBA Advocacy Reference Panel
UFBA Director Bill Butzbach will spend considerable time working with the FENZ Transition Team over the next few months.
To provide Bill with a sounding board on various positions, issues or other considerations, we have established a UFBA Advocacy Reference Panel with Board Director Glenn Williams as Chair.
We will draw on the experience and expertise of members around the country (volunteer, career, urban and rural) to form the panel—the make-up of which will vary according to the needs at the time.
Select Committee Report
The report on the FENZ Bill from the Select Committee is due in the House by 5 January. We will keep members informed about progress with the legislation.
Thank you to our members
UFBA/FRFANZ have engaged with our members, listened to your views and concerns and effectively acted on your behalf during the fire services reform.
We thank our members—urban and rural—for your outstanding contributions during our consultation processes and for your considered input when requested.
This year’s Conference in Christchurch with a record number of delegates attending was also a positive forum for open discussion and feedback.
We held our first meeting of the new UFBA Board on 8 December with new Directors Russell Anderson and Judith Stanley present and with President Alan Kittelty and Vice President Joe Manihera in attendance. Our continuing advocacy during the reforms was at the top of the agenda.
With enhanced membership confidence and engagement over the last 18 months, we believe UFBA and FRFANZ are well placed to achieve the best possible outcomes for members and their communities as we head toward the 1 July implementation date for FENZ.
Our best wishes for the festive season and for the challenges and changes coming up in 2017.
Thank you all again.
15 December 2016
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