The NZPFU advises its members not to participate in any discussions or project work regarding aerial appliances until we can confirm we have the appropriate NZPFU SMEs on the appropriate aerial appliance committees and working groups.
Despite NZPFU representatives and SMEs producing a comprehensive evidentially-based submission on the number and type of aerial appliances that need to be procured to start to address the dire situation of the fleet, as well as the long-time procurement and maintenance strategy, FENZ has deliberately bypassed some of our SMEs on the relevant working group. Some Region Managers have instead chosen to have their region represented by non-operational staff deliberately avoiding our SMEs who have already proven their extensive knowledge of the key considerations and requirements. It is extraordinary that Auckland and Wellington in particular are not represented by the NZPFU SMEs who have been working on this issue for some time.
Despite repeated requests the Region Managers did not consult with the Locals and as a result the relevant groups do not have the sufficient union and end-user SMEs to ensure a robust process.
The NZPFU is greatly concerned the FENZ Aerial procurement and strategy group is a sham with continued rumours that FENZ has made its decision on the number and type of aerial appliances to be purchased this year.
We have asked FENZ to confirm whether the rumours that an order for four aerial appliances has been made are true or not.
We have informed FENZ that the National NZPFU position is that it is not in our members’ interests to have any involvement in any aerial appliances that are not robustly considered taking into account the health and safety of firefighters, the community they will respond to and all key operational needs including staffing and training.
The state of the aerial appliances is a crisis nationwide. Compounding that crisis by procuring aerial appliances without appropriate design, testing and evaluation to ensure they are fit for purpose and meet the needs of response for the next 20 years will just be another example of wasted funding. FENZ and its predecessor have a history of making poor procurement decisions and we don’t want to see a repeat of the MAN truck saga.
We will keep our members informed. In the interim it is the NZPFU national position that our members do not participate in meetings/discussions regarding aerial appliances at any level or in any forum until we get the balance of representation of appropriate SMEs on the relevant groups.
Any questions please contact your Local representative or NZPFU Appliance representative Peter Harwood.