An update on Tāngata Matatau

Issue date:

Tāngata Matatau is a non-profit Peak Body designed to meet the needs for non-brigade members. 

It was established as a Peak Body in 2020 to provide sector advocacy for those members of Forest and Rural Fire Association (FRFANZ) that were not brigade members, and so were not covered by the new constitution passed by UFBA members following the merger of FRFANZ and UFBA. 


In 2017 UFBA and FRFANZ membership voted for change – to merge the two Associations to align better with the shaping sector.

A 2018 roadshow saw UFBA and FRFANZ engage with members from both Associations across New Zealand. Members gave a clear message that if UFBA and FRFANZ were to be dissolved and a new entity was created, this would be overly disruptive, costly and not likely to be efficient. Secondly, the membership felt that non-brigade FRFANZ members such as helicopter crews, forestry organisations, and similar, would not feel a natural affinity with the proposed (UFBA/FRFANZ) merged Association.

Therefore, a Peak Body Members’ Council was formed in April 2020 with leaders from organisations with vested interests in the sector development and former FRFANZ non-brigade entities.

The development of the Peak Body and other UFBA constitutional changes required assurance that the merged association addressed member needs.  This led to extensive Peak Body interviews with non-brigade FRFANZ members, past presidents of the UFBA and representatives from across membership. This meant both FRFANZ non-brigades, FRFANZ brigade members and UFBA members were all covered when it came to sector representation.

This resulted in Tāngata Matatau (meaning ‘Expert People’).

Tangata Matatau Main logo

Establishing Tāngata Matatau

The Peak Body council agreed the UFBA would lead on the Tāngata Matatau logistics using its professional in-house capabilities to form the brand, register, and organise meetings.  Unfortunately progress on much of this work was disrupted by the Covid-19 imposed lockdown during 2020.

Tāngata Matatau Ltd is a non-trading company. This was incorporated with two Directors, the Chair and the Chief Executive, simply by way of the respective acting roles they held on the Peak Body Members’ Council.

The organisation’s sole shareholder is Tāngata Matatau Incorporated and by registering a company with the Companies Office, this ensures naming rights to the organisation are secure, and further business development including obtaining a website domain, can take place as per standard business practice.

Keeping members in the loop

As the UFBA is a member of Tāngata Matatau, members were notified of its development through e-newsletters throughout 2020. Information on the process can also be accessed in the Report from the Board in the UFBA Annual Report and the proceedings at the UFBA’s AGM, which was held in November 2020. We will continue to keep members updated as Tāngata Matatau develops further.

Further information about Tāngata Matatau can be found at