Message from Chief Executive Officer George Verry
Thank you to all our members
Welcome Pōwhiri for Fire and Emergency NZ Chief Executive
Disputes, complaints or conflict: Contact us
Safety, Health and Wellbeing (SHW) Policy Commitment
Fire and Emergency NZ: Integration Phase
The launch of Fire and Emergency NZ has marked the culmination of a time of intense focus of UFBA/FRFANZ on the interests of our members since the Government released a Fire Services Review Discussion Document on 27 May 2015 that set out options to review and reform the structure, funding and legislation of rural and urban fire services.
Over the past two years, UFBA and FRFANZ have delivered an outstanding level of effective advocacy with very positive outcomes for our members.
We very much appreciate the dedication of our members, most of whom are volunteers, who have given their time freely to our advocacy actions—through their engagement with consultation, helping to develop new policies and processes and providing feedback to Fire and Emergency NZ.
The UFBA and FRFANZ Boards, particularly Director Bill Butzbach for his constant, knowledgeable and measured input, UFBA Officers, UFBA staff, consultant Murray McKee, UFBA Advocacy Reference Panel, UFBA Leadership & Governance Workshop graduates, Provincial Associations and our members on the FENZ Volunteer Working Group have also dedicated a great amount of time and effort to ensure members have had a single powerful voice during the transition.
We also acknowledge the major contributions of the families and employers of our members for their support and understanding during this time.
Fire and Emergency NZ Board Chair, Paul Swain, said in his letter dated 28 June to the UFBA: “Fire and Emergency NZ is the result of many months’ of valuable discussion and involvement of people across the fire sector. The knowledge, skills, and expertise of your members has been essential to its success, and the Board is grateful to everyone involved for their input.”
The UFBA and FRFANZ thank all our members for your work and commitment to building a fire and emergency services organisation that is fit for purpose to serve the needs of our local communities.
UFBA Chair Rick Braddock, Deputy Chair Glenn Williams, President Alan Kittelty and I along with FRFANZ Chair Kevin Ihaka and Deputy Chair Bruce Kitto attended the welcome pōwhiri at Wellington City Station on 3 July for the new Fire and Emergency New Zealand Chief Executive, Rhys Jones.
The welcome was followed by Fire and Emergency NZ and associations and unions representing firefighters signing a commitment to work together on safety, health and wellbeing matters.
From left: UFBA Chair Rick Braddock, Deputy Chair Glenn Williams, Fire and Emergency NZ Chair Paul Swain, UFBA President Alan Kittelty, UFBA Chief Executive Officer George Verry and Fire and Emergency NZ Chief Executive Rhys Jones.
From left: FRFANZ Chair Kevin Ihaka, Fire and Emergency NZ Chair Paul Swain, Fire and Emergency NZ Chief Executive Rhys Jones and FRFANZ Deputy Chair Bruce Kitto.
UFBA/FRFANZ are recognised by Fire and Emergency New Zealand as key partners for providing advocacy and support services to our members.
We also have a high level of understanding of the processes of the two new Fire and Emergency NZ dispute resolution processes:
- Volunteer Issues Process
- Interim Dispute Resolution Process
Individual Fire and Emergency New Zealand volunteers can access advocacy and support services provided by UFBA/FRFANZ for any dispute, complaint or conflict, free of charge by phoning us Monday - Friday Freephone 0508 832 269.
Download a summary of UFBA/FRFANZ Advocacy & Support Services here or below.
On 3 July, the Chairman and Chief Executive of Fire and Emergency NZ signed a new Safety, Health and Wellbeing (SHW) policy commitment. They and firefighters’ representatives including UFBA Chair Rick Braddock and myself and FRFANZ Chair Kevin Ihaka and Deputy Chair Bruce Kitto all then signed an endorsement statement committing to working together in support of the policy.
Rick says in recent years there has been a shift from traditional fire services to more rescue work by firefighters at motor vehicle accidents and many more medical calls as first response.
“The impact of these changes on our frontline people is gathering momentum and there needs to be a continued focus on safety and wellbeing activities.
“The UFBA is working together with Fire and Emergency New Zealand on developing new leadership initiatives to support firefighters in accessing psychological support.”
FRFANZ Chair Kevin Ihaka says this policy commitment and endorsement is the result of a lot of hard work and collaboration.
“It has been great to be involved in the design of this work, rather than being just presented with something developed by others.
“As we state in our commitment, we are making safety, health and wellbeing the first operating principle that guides decisions, and this work ensures it will stay that way.”
Pictured: Associations and unions representing firefighters at the Safety, Health and Wellbeing (SHW) policy commitment signing - including UFBA, FRFANZ, PFU, NZFRCA and PSA
Download the full Fire and Emergency New Zealand message on the new Safety, Health and Wellbeing (SHW) policy commitment below.
The three-year integration phase of Fire and Emergency NZ now begins.
We assure you UFBA/FRFANZ will continue to provide advocacy and support services needed by all our firefighters—urban, rural, volunteer, paid, industry and defence—during the three years of the integration phase to ensure they can serve their communities effectively.
4 July 2017
Photos: Fire and Emergency NZ
Message from Fire and Emergency NZ and unions and associations representing firefighters on safety, health and wellbeing policy commitment
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