The UFBA is made up of our members from over 580 brigades, supported by volunteers across New Zealand in many different roles and a small team of staff in Wellington.

  • UFBA Chair Richie Smith 2018

    Richie Smith

    Chairperson

    Richie Smith has been in Directorship roles dating back to 1995 covering a broad range of sectors including start-up, export and foreign investment, farming, transport, FMCG and with New Zealand Post Group. Lake Tekapo based Richie is motivated to offer his skills towards a community-based volunteer organisation. He joined us from July 2018 as Independent Appointed Director taking over from long-term predecessor Rick Braddock.

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  • Russell Anderson Elected Board Director 2018

    Russell Anderson

    UFBA Board Director - Elected

    Russell joined Port Chalmers Volunteer Fire Brigade in 1989 and transferred to Alexandra in 1996 where he is now Chief Fire Officer. He has served as President of the UFBA, President of Otago Southland Provincial Fire Brigades' Association, President of the Central Otago Sub Association, has been a UFBA representative on the National Training Advisory Group. Russell became a recipient of a Queens Service Medal in 2019.  Russell is Deputy Chair of the UFBA Board.

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  • Brenda Pilott Independent Appointed Director 2018

    Brenda Pilott

    Independent Appointed Director

    Wellington-based Brenda brings a wealth of governance and executive leadership and change management experience from a range of social and public sector and not for profit organisations. She has held senior management and executive roles with the PSA and Women's refuge and currently heads a social service sector peak body. Brenda joined us from July 2018.

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  • Daryl Sayer

    Daryl Sayer

    UFBA Board Director - Elected

    Daryl was elected to Board in 2018 bringing four years experience as Chief Fire Officer of a volunteer suburban Christchurch brigade. Prior to this he served as Deputy CFO for 10 years. With a background as a community pharmacy owner and representative on the Board of the Canterbury Community Pharmacy Group, Daryl brings business acumen and governance experience for a membership based organisation.

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  • Warren Maslin Elected Board Director 2019

    Warren Maslin

    UFBA Board Director - Elected

    Warren was elected to the Board in 2017 and re-elected in 2019. He is a Senior Firefighter from Ashburton Volunteer Fire brigade with 15 years’ experience as a volunteer achieved in Akaroa which he joined in 2001 when he was the Bank Manager in the town, followed by a move to Kaikoura brigade in 2003 before settling in Ashburton in 2005. He has been a competitor/official in many competition formats at regional and national levels and wants to give back to other brigades. Warren has served as President of the Canterbury Provincial Fire Brigades’ Association, is a change support champion and a Fire and Emergency NZ volunteer working group member. He is an Asset Finance specialist and has completed 30 years in banking with commercial lending, facilitation, negotiation and people management skills acquired in many different roles over the years with BNZ.

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  • Transition Board Director Kevin Ihaka

    Kevin Ihaka

    UFBA Board Director
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  • Tom Thomson - Transition Director 2019

    Tom Thomson

    UFBA Board Director - Transition

    Tom is Managing Director of Elastomer Products Ltd (EPL), a former National President of Plastics New Zealand and past President of the NZ Manufacturers and Exporters Association. He holds life memberships of both organisations. He is a fellow of the NZ institute of management, a  member of the NZ Institute of Directors, a board member of the Canterbury Museum Trust and former honorary fisheries officer. Currently he is a deputy Controller of Motunau Rural Fire Brigade with 10 years experience. A former member of FRFANZ executive, he joined the UFBA Board as part of the merger as a Transition Board member. Tom was awarded an ONZM for services to manufacturing and the community in 2019.  

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  • Dame Margaret Bazley Patron

    Dame Margaret Bazley ONZ DNZM

    Patron

    Dame Margaret Bazley was made Patron at our 2014 Conference in Tauranga. She has extensive experience and knowledge of government as a senior public servant and was a former Chairperson of the New Zealand Fire Service Commission. She has held the positions of Acting Chief Executive of the Department of Work and Income, Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Policy, Director-General of Social Welfare, Secretary for Transport, and Deputy Chairperson of the State Services Commission. She is a former Chairperson of the Foundation of Research, Science and Technology ; a member of the Waitangi Tribunal and the Royal Commission into Auckland Governance, and Commissioner for the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct; Chair of the Fundamental Review of the Legal Aid System.

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  • James Walker President 2019-20

    James Walker

    UFBA President 2019-20 / MAP Member

    Joining Wyndham Volunteer Fire Brigade in 1983 and from a line of firefighters means firefighting is in James' blood! Formerly President of the Northern Southland Sub Association and then Otago Southland FB Provincial Association gives James plenty of experience in ceremonial roles. James has been Chief Fire Officer at Wyndham for 14 years. A prior attendee of the UFBA Leadership & Governance course, James encourages others to follow their path towards self growth, fulfillment and development.

    Through his role on the Membership Advisory Panel James helps represent members' issues to the Board.

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  • Jason Prendergast UFBA President 2020-21

    Jason Prendergast

    UFBA Vice President 2019-20

    Following in a long family line of firefighters, Jason has been heavily involved in Provincial and Sub-Associations. A regular face at the UFBA Challenge Events, Jason has contributed many hours to supporting the running of events. Jason is Station Officer at Greymouth Volunteer Brigade and works for Fire and Emergency supporting local volunteers.

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  • Ces Pacey Challenge Panel Leader 2020

    Ces Pacey

    Challenge Panel Leader

    Ces who is Deputy Chief Fire Officer of Amberley Volunteer Fire Brigade was elected to the Technical Panel in 2016. He has been strongly involved in all four of the UFBA Challenges since he joined the service a little over 25 years ago - as a competitor, coach and an official. A proud moment was receiving his National Waterways Challenge Medal, one he will never forget. The Technical Panel role is one Ces is extremely passionate about. Over the years Ces has been a firefighter, he has got much out of the UFBA Challenges and feels privileged to put something back into the events so competitors can continue to enjoy them. 

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  • Scott Allan Challenge Panel Member 2020

    Scott Allan

    Challenge Panel Member

    Scott has seen the challenge events from all perspectives - as a competitor, an official and as convenor of the Otago Southland Sub Association Technical Panel. With brigade experience stretching over an impressive 33 years, currently at Bluff, Scott joins the UFBA Technical Panel in 2018.

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  • Mark Osborne Challenges Panel Member 2020

    Mark Osborne

    Challenge Panel Member

    Mark brings over 33 years of volunteer firefighter experience and over 23 years as a frontline paramedic to the position. He has competed in Waterway, Road Rescue and Combat Challenges and has officiated at Combat, Driving and Road Rescue Challenges. Mark is an Australasian Road Rescue Assessor, a role he has had for over 7 years and has been a national Road Rescue Assessor for over 10 years. He has also assessed at the World Road Rescue Challenges in Upper Hutt and Clearwater, USA. Mark feels he can make a very positive contribution to the UFBA Challenge Panel with his experience and knowledge of challenges. His main goal is to see more firefighters competing in challenges over the next four years.

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  • Shayne (Tua) Kennedy Challenge Panel 2020

    Shayne (Tua) Kennedy

    Challenge Panel Member

    Shayne (known as Tua), is currently the Deputy Chief Fire Officer of Silverdale Fire Brigade covering Silverdale and Manly Stations. From the day he started as a firefighter over 18 years ago, Tua has been involved with the activities and competitive challenges of the UFBA including: competing in Waterway, Road Crash Rescue and Drivers Challenges at local, provincial, and national level, assisting with set-up, judging and refereeing Waterway Challenges at local, provincial, and national level, reviewing rules and judging at Driving Challenges at local, provincial, and national level, reviewing rules and judging at Combat Challenges at provincial, and national level and representing New Zealand judging at Waterway Challenges in Australia. Tua has an intense interest in helping people succeed in whatever they pursue. He believes his wealth of experience with setting up, judging and assisting to run events has given him a solid platform which adds real value to the Panel and ultimately the membership.

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  • Bill Butzbach CEO 2017

    Bill Butzbach

    UFBA CEO

    With a career of more than 40 years spanning senior strategic roles in the NZ Fire Service with firefighting experience in urban, rural, volunteer and career areas, Bill has a unique perspective on the issues facing the services and firefighters—both volunteer and career.

    Bill joined the UFBA Board as an appointed director in 2013 and 2015. After the Government released a Fire Services Review Discussion Document in May 2015, which set out options to review and reform the structure and funding of rural and urban fire services, he helped advocate for UFBA members and produce the UFBA Fire Services Review Submission and the joint UFBA/FRFANZ submission on the Bill.

    Bill helped set important foundations with the Fire and Emergency NZ Transition Project Team on the co-design of a range of better support for all volunteers to recognise, respect and promote their contributions including volunteer engagement, dispute resolution and advocacy and support services. Most recently Bill helped lead the merger with FRFANZ and new constitution for the UFBA. Bill is committed to ensuring the UFBA achieves its strategic goals, meets its vision of safe sustainable communities and continues as a robust, professional and innovative advocacy organisation

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  • Susan Passuello EA 2019

    Susan Passuello

    Executive Assistant

    Susan provides support to the UFBA management team, Board and President. Susan brings over 17 years experience as a PA in the finance sector.

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  • Angela Christie

    Membership Manager
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  • Stephen Malanchak Accountant 2019

    Stephen Malanchak

    Accountant

    Stephen has extensive experience as a finance professional working in the private sector, central and local government and not for profit organisations in a voluntary capacity. Out of work Stephen enjoys spending time with family and friends including riding his mountain bike.

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  • Nick Cottrell Staff 2018

    Nick Cottrell

    Marketing & Communications Manager

    Nick brings experience in marketing, brand management, design and communications with not-for-profits in both the UK and NZ. A strong advocate of volunteerism, for over 20 years Nick has been a volunteer with various conservation and education charities and community event committees.

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  • Julia Costa Events Manager 2015

    Julia Costa

    UFBA Events Manager

    Julia is a graduate of the Venue Management School, Brisbane. With a career in events logistics and management spanning two decades, Julia has been with the UFBA since 2016 delivering hugely successful calendar of Challenges and Events, working closely with the Challenges Panel.

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  • Lisa Mead Events Coordinator 2019

    Lisa Mead

    Events Coordinator

    Lisa had supported the UFBA team in 2019 before formally joining the events team in March 2020. As part of this busy team she brings exceptional customer service experience gained from a diverse range of roles.

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  • Holly Dallinger Events Assistant 2019

    Holly Dallinger

    Events Assistant

    Holly joined the events team in 2019. Originally from Taranaki, Holly comes after time as a legal secretary with an Intellectual Property Law Firm, and time with a travel company. Holly supports the planning and running of the busy challenge events, AGM and conference.

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  • Megan Devine Advocacy and Support Advisor 2018

    Megan Devine

    Advocacy & Support Advisor

    With a background as General Manager working with international clients, banks and the private sector, Megan brings a breadth of experiences including in HR and mediation. Megan is also a committed volunteer providing administration support to her local Volunteer Fire Brigade. She has also lead a suicide support group, and is currently studying tikanga Māori as part of her community development-related post-graduate studies. Megan oversees advocacy and support cases and coordinates a team of dedicated support volunteers across NZ.

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  • Jane Davie Membership Support Coordinator 2008

    Jane Davie

    Membership Support Coordinator

    Jane started with the UFBA in September 2006 and was an operational member and Secretary of Tawa VFB for over 10 years. She remains active in the service as Treasurer of Porirua VFB. She has valuable insight into the functional needs and challenges of fire brigades and members and delivers our training for secretaries and treasurers and administrates the Benevolent Fund.

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  • Megan Leggett Fire Shop Admin Reception

    Megan Leggett

    Reception & Fire Shop Admin

    Megan looks after and runs our Fire Shop and reception as well as carrying out general office duties. Make sure you watch the Fire Shop frequently for new items and specials.

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  • Meg Rodden

    Service Honours and Pathways Coordinator

    Meg joined the team in March 2020 to support delivery of Service Honours. Meg also coordinates the new Pathways Gateway and Taitamariki programme for youth engagement.

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