Strength of our Provincial Associations
Kia ora koutou,
I was very fortunate to accompany UFBA President Joe Manihera and Technical Panel Member Shayne (Tua) Kennedy to the Otago Southland Provincial Association Conference, AGM and Waterway Challenge over the weekend.
Hosted by Queenstown CFO Andrew Bary and his capable team, all in attendance were treated like VIPs in what must surely be one of the most delightful and diverse communities in New Zealand.
The Otago Southland Provincial is a very strong and active organisation with a very creditable 35 brigades turning out to the AGM. While less than the Provincial Executive might have hoped for, a great result compared to national trends.
I acknowledge Immediate Past President Dave Christie and his Executive for their very professional conference proceedings and for providing our UFBA team with the opportunity to address delegates and talk about the ever-increasing importance of the Provincial Associations as a key component of a repositioned National Association.
An Association more reflective of the broader fire and emergency services environment we now exist within. An Association that works on behalf of its existing membership and an Association that examines its relevance to a broader membership base and can remain relevant in the long term.
Membership associations cannot exist for their own sake. They must fulfil a purpose and do so capably and efficiently. The UFBA has promoted the opportunity we have to assist with the integration of our sector and provide a common and complementary platform for all emergency service workers to engage together in an environment of learning, participation and networking with a strong esprit de corps.
Fire and Emergency NZ Region 5 Manager David Guard, also in attendance for the duration of the conference and events with his entire Senior Team, challenged all delegates and the Executive to reach out to those member brigades that do not usually engage at Provincial level and invite our rural colleagues into the tent.
This challenge was picked up by incoming President Matt Jones and I have every confidence he will achieve that goal.
Finally, I congratulate the Provincial Association, member brigades and the Fire and Emergency NZ Region Team for the obviously strong and supportive relationships they have created in a reformed sector. A great example of cooperation and friendship.
12 February 2018
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