UFBA challenges lack of rural and volunteer input on the FENZ Project LIFT

Issue date:

UFBA has formally approached Fire and Emergency NZ region management to explain why Project LIFT, a project set up in the Greater Auckland (to Waitematā) Te Hiku region to review opportunities for improvement in large, complex and/or long-duration incidents has no rural, volunteer involvement or UFBA representation.

“LIFT” stands for “Leadership of Incidents / Functional Teams”.

This is a disappointing example of the unfortunate and ongoing cultural bias being shown towards urban ways of thinking and urban personnel, in a region where local volunteer brigades noticeably demonstrated their value to large campaigns in the support they provided during the NZ International Convention Centre fire in late 2019.

Furthermore, Greater Auckland’s outlying forest and wildland areas, mostly covered by volunteer rural brigades, mean there is clearly a vested interest for these volunteer brigades to have representation in any decision making.

We remind Fire and Emergency of their obligations as a new organisation established in 2017 to create a more diverse, inclusive and specialist organisation that values all its workforce and their capabilities, contributions and community-focus.   

Four years on from the establishment of Fire and Emergency NZ that amalgamated urban and rural fire services, ongoing examples of this non-inclusive behaviour is incredibly disappointing for UFBA members.

The UFBA will provide a further update to members once we have more information.

For further detail on Project LIFT see here:

Te Hiku Region 1