For some considerable time, and particularly following the report of the Fire Review Panel in 2012, the UFBA has advocated hard for change to fire service functions and funding legislation.
On 27 May 2015, the Government released a Fire Services Review Discussion Document setting out options to review and reform the structure, funding and legislation of rural and urban fire services. During the transition to the new unified Fire and Emergency New Zealand organisation over the past two years, the UFBA and FRFANZ have delivered an outstanding level of effective advocacy with very positive outcomes for our members.
Our members, who are mostly volunteers, have contributed greatly to the success of our advocacy actions—through their engagement with consultation, helping to develop new policies and processes and providing feedback to Fire and Emergency NZ. Some of our members who have been involved give their views as we move into the integration phase.
“As we move into the integration phase of Fire and Emergency New Zealand, the combined strength and voice of the UFBA and FRFANZ will ensure we deliver strong advocacy and support for our membership in the coming years."
Alan Kittelty, UFBA President
“1 July was years away, then months, now it’s here. So much has been achieved by input from a large cross section of all personnel to get this far. The level of commitment and intent that has been communicated and portrayed to our members, setting the scene and pathway for our future has been incredible to say the least.
Sure not every question has been answered, not every scenario can possibly be set, but the processes are in place for a smooth transition and to guide our organisation to help build better, more sustainable emergency service for our communities.”
Russell Anderson, UFBA Director, Past President
“It has been great to see real input from FRFANZ and UFBA into developing policies and systems for Fire and Emergency New Zealand. It is essential that we continue to have input at the development stage rather than simply commenting on things once they are completed. It has been rewarding to work closely with the UFBA to ensure we influence and shape policies during development.
All the representative organisations—PFU, PSA, NZFRCA, FRFANZ and UFBA—have been working closely on a weekly basis to ensure projects such as Safety, Health and Wellbeing reflect all of our needs and are fit for purpose. This collaborative effort is working very well with all the organisations coming together to cooperatively develop completely new systems.”
Kevin Ihaka, FRFANZ Chair
“The work the Transition teams have done through the ‘amalgamation’ phase in communicating, consulting and interacting with volunteers and the UFBA/FRFANZ in capturing the concerns and shortcomings confronting volunteers has been exceptional.
Those issues to be provided for in the Integration Phase 2 Blueprint will be a huge benefit for our volunteers. Kia Kotahi Ra.”
Joe Manihera, UFBA Vice President
“Our rural colleagues have had the thin end of the wedge for a number of years.
Fire and Emergency New Zealand allows us to be a fully inclusive national fire service, with the benefit of shared knowledge and experience in all aspects of leadership, change management and decisiveness in order to make better decisions within our brigades to support our communities."
Scott Lanauze, Cromwell Volunteer Fire Brigade, NZFBI Vice President
“I’m looking forward to seeing the increased volunteer supporting initiatives coming through. The plans sound great, now it’s time to see it in action!
The UFBA and FRFANZ will play a vital role over the next three years in ensuring this support does flow through to the volunteers.”
James Mackay, Takaka Volunteer Fire Brigade, Nelson Marlborough Provincial Association President
“The service name may be changing but the fundamental activity of being a volunteer and serving our communities isn’t. Becoming Fire and Emergency New Zealand better reflects what we actually do—fire, medical, MVA etc.
When the siren goes up, we as volunteers will be better covered and protected by legislation that is fit for purpose. I expect to see closer working relationships between all emergency services within all regions, more support, education and resources for urban brigades and rural fire forces and support and strong advice for volunteers from the UFBA to help us be fit for purpose.”
Amber Hollis, Arrowtown Volunteer Fire Brigade and Wakatipu Rural Fire Force
“Funding a range of increased in-field Volunteer Support initiatives ensures it will be easier to be a volunteer in Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
We will be able to focus more of our time on training and delivering service to our communities.”
Simon East, Cust Volunteer Fire Brigade
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