On Monday we notified our members not to participate in any discussions or project work regarding aerial appliances until we can confirm we have the appropriate NZPFU SMEs (subject matter experts) on the appropriate aerial appliance committees and working groups.
That advice and NZPFU position remains in place as we have yet to resolve the issue, but we have commenced discussions with FENZ to try and resolve the impasse. FENZ has agreed to reconsider the current structure (which includes a reference group, project group and steering committee) in the context of the representation issues the NZPFU has put forward. We will keep members informed of any progress on that issue.
It is the NZPFU view that it is critical to have our SMEs on the group, including from Auckland and Wellington, as they will add significant knowledge and experience to ensure the aerials to be procured this year and in the future are fit for purpose, take into account safe systems of work and the health and safety of firefighters while future-proofing the protection to the community.
FENZ has also confirmed that it has not procured 4 aerial appliances as rumoured. Deputy Chief Executive Organisational Strategy and Capability Development Russell Wood confirmed in writing “that no orders for heavy aerial appliances have been placed. As per our correspondence in January we are standing up a project governance, management and reference group type of structure as a means to deliver on this piece of work. Nothing has changed in this regard. I also previously referenced the fact that we would need to procure via an open tender process to ensure we are compliant with the mandatory rules of sourcing. This means it is simply not possible to approach a supplier or suppliers and place an order.”