On Wednesday 19 December, the Fire and Emergency and NZPFU Auckland task force held their first meeting since their establishment in November.

The joint task force is the first important step of commitment between Fire and Emergency and NZPFU to look at the barriers to ensuring staffing levels in Auckland are sustainable.

The meeting was a positive discussion to begin understanding how we can improve staffing levels in Auckland stations with particular focus on the demands of working in this region.

Brendan Nally, Deputy Chief Executive of People, believes the task force, and any actions that come from it, are key to ensuring that we have the right people, at the right place, at the right time.

“As we all know, the Auckland region has seen a fair amount economic change over the past few years and at the same time we have seen a drop in staffing levels in the region. So it’s key for us to look at this, fully understand the barriers we have in retaining and attracting good people, and what we can do to address this.

“This is a long term commitment to considering practical solutions to the barriers faced by Auckland personnel with the intent to be able to share and apply learnings from this to our other regions” says Brendan.

NZPFU Secretary, Wattie Watson also sees the task force as crucial to ensure that all challenges and barriers are fully understood and dealt with.

“This is a significant piece of work that cannot be underestimated and there is a sense of urgency that we need to do what we can to better support our members. From the high cost of living to being able to achieve a good work/life balance, our members face a variety of challenges to working and living in the Auckland region, and we want to ensure we know the full breadth of this.”

One of the first actions from the task force is to survey all career firefighters in Auckland on their experiences and thoughts on the pressures of living in Auckland. This is being set up and will be emailed out in the next month or so. We are also considering the potential of extending this survey to other personnel in Auckland but a decision will be made on this at a later date.

The task force, made up of a mixture of locally selected NZPFU representatives and Fire and Emergency personnel, will continue to meet on a monthly basis. Any recommendations will go through to a Governance Group and ultimately SLT and the Board for final decisions.

Governance group members:

  • Brendan Nally
  • Brett Warwick
  • Ian Wright
  • James Hall
  • Kerry Gregory

Task force members:

  • Richard Twomey
  • Geoff Purcell
  • Vaughan Mackereth
  • Wattie Watson
  • Terry Bird
  • Jamie Whitehead
  • Brendon Pascoe
  • Tim-Bob Julian
  • Josh Burton
  • Chris Wells
  • Peter Dewes (project manager)
  • Linda Harrison (business analyst)
  • Andrea Aranha (support)

Task force meetings

The task force meets on a monthly basis. Below are the upcoming meetings:

  • Wed 30 Jan, 2019
  • Mon 25 Feb, 2019
  • Fri 29 Mar, 2019
  • Tues 30 April, 2019
  • Tues 28 May, 2019
  • Thurs 27 June, 2019

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