The NZPFU and FENZ agree that firefighters should never be used as part of Police operations or enforcement.
Yesterday, hoses were commandeered by Police to be used in and around the Parliament grounds. These were unprecedented events where the hostility and danger to health and safety of the Police, Fire and Ambulance responders was very real and imminent.
The NZPFU has called for an independent Inquiry to thoroughly determine all the circumstances that resulted in fire hoses being used by police and then being turned on the police.
We condemn the untenable position professional career firefighters were in yesterday. We believe that was due in part to the absence of appropriate inter-agency procedures.
We commend and support the professionalism of our members who were put in an untenable situation and acted under Orders and instructions that were beyond their control. They were deployed to extinguish fires and undertook their duties at great risk to their own health and safety, and in the immediate danger of injury from flying objects being hurled from some members of the public, and escalating hostilities.
The NZPFU will be seeking Government assurances to ensure that Police are appropriately resourced to undertake escalating policing operations, and that there are clear inter-agency policies in place, so that the misuse of firefighters and FENZ resources never occurs again.
The NZPFU assures the public that it is never the intention for firefighters to respond to incidents for any enforcement purpose. Firefighters are protectors, not enforcers. They serve to protect and preserve life, prevent or limit injury, and prevent or limit damage to property and the environment.
National Secretary Wattie Watson spoke to Corin Dann on Morning Report