NO CONFIDENCE IN THE FENZ CEO TO EFFECT THAT CHANGE

In his August 2020 blog the National President Ian Wright called out FENZ’s leadership for failing to properly investigate allegations by women volunteer firefighters of sexual assault and intimidation by other volunteer firefighters including Chiefs. His blog was prompted by harrowing interviews with volunteer firefighters on Radio New Zealand. In that blog the NZPFU extended an offer of support to anyone working or volunteering in FENZ  who had been subject to insulting or assaulting behaviour. A number of women volunteer firefighters have made contact with the union as a result.

Radio New Zealand has continued to pursue answers from FENZ on these allegations, and to hold FENZ accountable for its lack processes to deal with such allegations.  

Listen to the RNZ interview aired today where National Secretary Wattie Watson says the NZPFU does not have confidence in FENZ CEO Rhys Jones on this issue. 


We do not have confidence in the CEO to put in place independent, transparent processes that proceed on the principles of natural justice and fairness requiring everyone, including the hierarchy of the organisation and brigades, to be accountable to the same processes and the same standard of behaviours.  

Yesterday the NZPFU called out FENZ’s leadership for behaviours we likened to organisational bullying of staff by forging ahead with appointment processes despite those processes being at the heart of the NZPFU challenge in the Employment Court. We have also recently called out FENZ for failing to apply its own standards of conduct and values to the senior leadership team. There are numerous examples where FENZ’s mantra of “do the right thing” holds no weight when it comes to decisions made by the upper echelon of the organisation.

In unity,
Wattie Watson

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