President's message to members February 11

Issue date:

Kia ora everyone!

As I travel around the country and talk with brigades, I continue to be impressed with the generosity of our people and depth of our different views and perspectives on matters under discussion within brigades and communities, and about our Association.  It’s this diversity of thought across our amazing country that makes us who we are.

I for one feel we are moving into 2021 in a stronger place on so many levels to continue the great work we do across Aotearoa to serve and protect our communities.  In staying strong, I encourage fellow brigade members to take all opportunities ahead to get involved on matters of interest to you and your brigade this year.  Fire and Emergency (FENZ) have released their National Strategy out to 2045 and their 10-year plan.  Having sat with the UFBA Board this week, as Chairperson of the Membership Advisory Panel (MAP), looking at the strategic matters ahead for the fire and emergency sector, 2021 and beyond will be big years for us all.  It’s going to call on us more than ever to come together to positively influence what will be proposed by Fire and Emergency over the coming years as they seek to deliver, with our help, stronger fire and emergency services for our country.

Remember you can contact the MAP with things you’d like to raise with your elected leaders via our website here. The MAP was established to make sure members have a strong voice through to your elected representatives and the Board on matters of importance to you.

We know all too well how communities across New Zealand increasingly rely on our presence, strength and technical expertise to protect and care for them in times of need.   The UFBA's Challenges are an incredible opportunity to sharpen your skills, build strong networks among membership, and to showcase to young people across New Zealand what it’s like to be part of fire services in this country.  Let’s get out there and encourage our youth to get involved.

I was stoked to see the North Island Waterway Challenge had one of the biggest attendances of Waterway in a number of years and registrations for Combat almost broke the internet!  If you’re in or around Methven this weekend, come and see the South Island Waterway Challenge – for those who are not, we’ll be live-streaming from the event via our Facebook page at

While the events are the exciting public face of our Association, I really want to give a shout out to those working behind the scenes, in the office and those who volunteer to support these services. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve represented our Association at UFBA Gold Star ceremonies along with some of our great Past Presidents, who give of their time. It gives me a buzz every time seeing communities come together to recognise the time given by their brigade families, and I’m grateful for the help from UFBA’s Service Honours Coordinators who help us continue this tradition.

I encourage members to head to the UFBA website for latest information on what’s happening with Challenges, for latest news updates, and to find out about all the opportunities to participate in working parties to influence change.  This week, the Association did an update on Tāngata Matatau for members. Click here for the facts and catchup on the latest news from your Association – you can subscribe to our mailing list through the bottom of the Fire Shop home page here.

From a place of care, I reach out as your President and encourage anyone who may need support to know it is here for you – the Benevolent Fund, individual advocacy and support and ACC top-up scheme; make the most of these services set up to help you.

Be kind people and keep supporting your fellow members!