Our people

AGM 2019 delegates

The UFBA's services are supported by teams of volunteers across New Zealand in many different roles. Behind the scenes a small team of staff in Wellington, maintain the day-to-day running of the association.

  • Peter Dunne

    Peter Dunne

    UFBA Board Chair

    The Hon Peter Dunne joined the Board of the UFBA in March 2021 in an ex officio role. In June, he was unanimously elected as Chair of the Board.

    Peter was a member of Parliament from 1984 to 2017. He held many Ministerial portfolios during that time, including Minister of Internal Affairs in 1996 and from 2014 to 2017, and Minister of Revenue in 1996 and from 2005 to 2013.

    He has had a long-standing relationship with the UFBA that extends over many years. Peter's knowledge of fire services in New Zealand and his relationships with Brigades, Fire and Emergency New Zealand and the sector generally will be of high-value to the UFBA.

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  • Transition Board Director Kevin Ihaka

    Kevin Ihaka

    UFBA Appointed Director

    Kevin is the Managing Director of Forest Protection Services based in Whangārei and brings extensive experience in fighting wildfires across New Zealand, Australia, USA and Canada.

    The former Chair of the Forest and Rural Fire Association (FRFANZ), he joined the UFBA Board in 2019 as part of the merger as a Transition Board member and was appointed a director in 2023.

    Kevin holds a number directorships and advisory roles in the forest and rural fire industries.

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  • Daryl Sayer

    Daryl Sayer

    UFBA Board Director - Elected

    With a background as a community pharmacy owner and having served as a Director of the Board of the Canterbury Community Pharmacy Group, Daryl brings business acumen and governance experience to the board table.

    Within Fire and Emergency New Zealand (and the former New Zealand Fire Service) Daryl has had roles on various working groups including the Transition Reference Group, guiding the transition to Fire and Emergency New Zealand, and the Leadership Reference Group.  

    In 2020 to 2022 Daryl was employed in the Positive Workplace Culture Programme addressing the recommendations of the Coral Shaw Report. He is currently the UFBA representative on the Te Ihu Region Safety, Health and Wellbeing Committee.  

    Daryl is Chief Fire Officer of the Sumner Volunteer Fire Brigade and is a Justice of the Peace.  

    Daryl was elected to the Board in 2018 and is the  Chair of the UFBA’s Complaints and Disciplinary Committee.

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  • Jason Prendergast

    Jason Prendergast

    UFBA Board Director - Elected

    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 Runganga Volunteer Brigade and works for Fire and Emergency supporting local volunteers.

    Elected to the Board in 2022, Jason is also a Past President of the UFBA.

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  • Howard Cole

    Howard Cole

    Board Director - Elected

    Howard was appointed Director UFBA board in October 2022. Howard has a wealth of experience from time as a Former Executive Committee member of the Forest and Rural Fire Association NZ (FRFANZ) with over 33 year’s experience as a Fire Officer. Howard is the Chief Fire Officer, a role which he has held for 26 years and a founding member of Waikato’s Maramarua Volunteer Fire Brigade.

    Howard began farming in 1984, he has a strong knowledge for practical farming initiatives and continues to manage multiple farms within the Maramarua region. Howard was awarded the Queens Service Medal in 2018 for his service to the community.

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  • Tom Thomson

    Tom Thomson

    UFBA Board Director - Elected

    Tom is the Managing Director of Elastomer Products Ltd (EPL), Managing Director of EPT (Thailand), Director of Compounding Specialists Ltd (Comspec Plastics recycling), a former National President of Plastics New Zealand, 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, Deputy Chair of the Canterbury Museum Trust and former honorary fisheries officer. Tom is also a current board member of the Canterbury Manufacturers Trust.

    His FENZ operational role is Deputy Controller and training officer for Motunau Rural Fire Brigade (Te Ihu) with 13 years’ experience.

    A former member of FRFANZ executive, he joined the UFBA Board in 2017 as a Transition Board member and was elected to the UFBA Board in 2022. He chairs the UFBA Audit and Risk Committee.

    Tom was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to manufacturing and the community in 2019 New Years honours.  

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  • Dave McFarlane

    Dave McFarlane


    The key role of our Patron is to help our Association become more visible, lend credibility to our cause, and where possible, assist the Board and Management to increase the Associations influence, both internally and externally. 

    Dave was made Patron in February 2022, and is a former President of the UFBA, holding this position in 2004. Coming from an extensive background in fi re services, Dave was a member of the Renwick Volunteer Fire Brigade for 39 years and Chief Fire Officer for nine of those years. Prior to this, from 1974, and for 18 years, Dave was with the Defence Fire Service Royal New Zealand Air Force, Woodbourne, holding many leadership roles including Principal Rural Fire Officer for the District. He then went on to serve six years with the New Zealand Fire Service Commission, including being Deputy Chair of the Commission from 2012 to 2015. Dave’s day job is site manager for NZ Defence Estate and Infrastructure at the Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Woodbourne. Dave is also a Justice of the Peace and holds an esteemed Queen’s Service Medal. We are confi dent Dave’s experience and background is well suited to hold this esteemed position.

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  • Warren Maslin President

    Warren Maslin

    President 2023-24 / MAP Representative

    Warren was elected to the Board in 2017 and re-elected in 2019. His term ended in 2022, when he was then nominated as the UFBA Vice President.

    Warren 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 of our Challenges at regional and national levels and wants to give back to other brigades.

    Warren also 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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  • Jeff Manson VP

    Jeff Manson

    Vice President 2023-24 / MAP Representative

    Jeff is a Senior Firefighter for the Mossburn Volunteer Fire Brigade with 37 years of service . 

    His journey to the UFBA was through the Otago Southland Provincial Fire Brigades Association, where he is currently the immediate Past President. This is where he found his footing to seeing how he could really make a difference to helping our members, and what gave him the courage to take the next step to continue helping more people in the sector.

    Jeff is a seasoned UFBA competitor across all our challenges, at all levels and sees these events as a huge platform to connecting with members from far and wide. He is a panelbeater/painter by day, and loves the outdoor life in the deep heart of southland, with the beautiful Southern Lakes in his backyard.

    Jeff looks forward to working with the UFBA Executive, Board and staff to support their work and bring more strength to our association.

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  • Amber Hollis IPP

    Amber Hollis

    Immediate President / MAP Representative

    Amber is a Senior Firefighter and Crew Leader in Central Otago and employed as a Region Trainer with Fire and Emergency. She has been a volunteer firefighter since 2014 and enjoys serving the communities and members of the brigades and regions, I have been connected with.

    Being involved in so many areas of Fire and Emergency, the United Fire Brigades Association, Provincials and Sub association, Amber recognises that all these organisations are strengthened by the membership.

    A few words from your UFBA Immediate Past President

    “We need to stay connected and I will work to build strong connections and reinforce them”

    “I want to support our membership and the only way can do this is by engaging and connecting”

    Please get in contact with me if you have any areas you would like support in. I look forward to getting out in the regions to connect with you during my term as President.

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  • James Walker President 2019-20

    James Walker

    Past President / MAP Representative

    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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  • 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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  • Murray Blogg

    Murray Blogg

    Challenge Panel Member

    Murray is currently the Chief Fire Officer of Temuka Volunteer Fire Brigade and has served in the fire service since 1977. Over the years, Murray has enjoyed participating in several challenges, he started off competing in Waterways at age16 and in later years attending as an official mainly in Combat . Murray says he looks forward to the challenge events every year, as it gives our firefighters opportunities to compete in a safe and fun environment, while fostering networking and personal development opportunities through these activities.

    "I would like to encourage all firefighters to participate in any of the events"

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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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  • 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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  • Bill 2022

    Bill Butzbach


    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 2022

    Susan Passuello

    Board Secretary

    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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  • Julia 2022

    Julia Costa

    Principal Advisor and Manager Strategic Programmes

    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 a hugely successful calendar of Challenges and Events, working closely with the Challenge Panel.

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  • Tayla August

    Tayla August

    Communications Manager

    Tayla brings experience in marketing, social media management and internal communications for a range of companies, including regional communications support for Fire and Emergency New Zealand. Her recent history has been working closely with FENZ volunteers, partners and stakeholders. 

    Based in the Bay of Plenty, Tayla will be travelling around and utilising modern ways of working to enhance and deliver our communications.

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  • Stephen 2022

    Stephen Malanchak

    Finance and Membership Services Manager

    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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  • 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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  • Lisa 2022

    Lisa Mead

    Senior 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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  • Alex Nolan

    Alex Nolan

    Events Coordinator

    Alex joined the UFBA in 2023, and brings a broad spectrum of experience in the event sector. Alex loves all things organisation and admin, and the buzz of being onsite at a busy event.

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  • Makayla

    Makayla Patel

    Events Administrator

    Makayla joined the UFBA in September 2023 and brings experience from a diverse range of roles. Makayla is excited and motivated to step into and grow in the events industry.

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  • Megan L 2022

    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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  • David 2022

    David Lattimore

    Regional Advocate

    Coming from a long line of firefighters, David has been a volunteer for 44 years starting with Devonport, East Coast Bays composite brigades and is currently the SSO for the Silverdale brigade. As a Past President and Life Honourary Member of the Auckland Provincial and Sub Associations, David knows all too well the value and strength associations bring in supporting essential connections between brigades. As a former executive and delegate for E tū, New Zealand’s biggest private sector union, he brings a wealth of advocacy experience, representing for fairness and rights. As Flight Services Manager for Air New Zealand David held positions as a H&S advisor, Cabin Safety Accident Investigator, Emergency Procedures and Human Factors Trainer, and health and safety and accident prevention remains a subject of keen interest. 

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  • Tearo Kelemete

    Tearo Kelemete

    Service Honours Coordinator

    Tearo has been with the UFBA for well over a decade. A familiar voice on the end of the phone and face at Conference, Tearo is the first port of call for those requiring help with arranging service honours awards.

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  • 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.  Jane is responsible for delivering our training workshops for secretaries and treasurers.  She administers the Benevolent Fund.

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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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