UFBA Board to propose changes to service honours at 2022 AGM

A strong key message came out of the meeting that UFBA CEO Bill Butzbach and Advocacy Advisor Megan Devine attended at the Hawkes Bay Fire Brigades Sub Association 62nd Annual Conference on 2 July at the Norsewood Fire Station.

A good discussion was held on the need to make sure service honours are more reflective of the flexible way in which all brigade support activities are recognised in today’s world. In addition, less common volunteer contributions in the risk reduction and recovery spaces are emerging around the country and deserve to be recognised alongside readiness and response work.  

This feedback was strongly endorsed by the Hawkes Bay Local Advisory Committee (LAC ) Chair Debbie Northe who had received similar feedback as they have been visiting volunteer brigades in the area as part of their statutory role.

 The UFBA Board and Management agree and believe there is a strong case for change. A remit to the AGM to address this issue was produced last year and will be put to delegates at this year’s face-to-face AGM.

The event was well attended by members from across the Area including speakers from FENZ, Group Manager Gordon Foster, Area Community Risk Manager Nigel Hall, and the Chair of the Hawkes Bay Local Advisory Committee (LAC), Debbie Northe.

Megan provided members with an update on the UFBA Advocacy and Support services that have been delivered to volunteer members since 2018, and Bill gave an update on strategic sector advocacy work underway with FENZ.  The UFBA will do a separate member update on specific initiatives in these two areas in the coming weeks.

Feedback from the meeting also included a suggestion that the UFBA and the Hawkes Bay Sub-Association enter a partnership to mutually deliver on specific programmes of work and projects. The UFBA has existing Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) with the Provincial Associations, the NZ Fire Brigades Institute and the Institution of Fire Engineers (NZ Branch). We welcome this initiative with Hawkes Bay.  The incoming Sub-Association President, Kim Hall and Bill will meet soon to discuss areas of common interest to support and reinforce a stronger working relationship.  

As always, we look forward to hearing from members. We want to hear your views. Connect with us at connect@ufba.org.nz