The Union remains supportive of the underlying rationale behind the formation of Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
- Recognising the mandated scope of a firefighter
- Merging Urban and Rural
- Providing fair and proper funding
However, as we have made no secret, the reforms are hampered by
- Tremendously bad and inadequate legislation; and
- A Commission, out of their depth, making bad decisions and demonstrating little effective leadership.The Union continues to work closely with the Fire and Emergency Transition Office.
The Union has a good working relationship with Director, David Strong – he is a decent and honourable man. We will continue to work with his office, we must do this to protect the interests of our members and the communities they protect.
The Union is deeply concerned about Command and Control on Day 1.
Legislated Urban and Rural boundaries will effectively be removed by law. But the Commission has said ‘However, these remain in place for Operational reasons from 1 July’.
It is the artificial boundaries that cause the problems presently – it is no coincidence that Parliament has removed them. The Commissions failure in leadership is to continue them. There is no leadership also demonstrated with the lack of any guidance as to how long these artificial boundaries will continue – 3-4 years or 20 -30 years or forever? This lack of forward thinking is inexcusable.
We are only 4 months out from the commencement of Fire and Emergency New Zealand. There are well over 100 persons working in the Transition Office.
It is not too much to ask that on day 1, our SO’s, SSO’s and Firefighters are fully informed as to who is in charge when responding to incidents. Seems like common sense.