This last year has been one of uncertainty, with a generational change in the structure of the administration side of our organisation.
This has led to a certain stagnation of decision making by most levels of management. It has meant your executive has often had to assist our management, with what would ordinarily be their “Bread and Butter”. The stand-up date of the new administration is the 27th September. My Guess is that our work will not be any less time consuming after that.
There will be many challenges and opportunities as the new structure beds in. Members are reminded that as the new “Super District” picks up the new tasks asked of it, many new work-streams will need homes, as new roles and responsibilities are fully realised. Our role has not changed, it is not our responsibility to pick up this “New” work. It will be assumed that our members will tidy up all the extra tasks that are yet to be fully appreciated. The testing of volunteer hose earlier this year is a small example of this, while much of this extra work may seem menial, we ask that you discuss with your local committee any work asked of you, that is outside of the ”Norm”. We don’t wish a repeat of the medical response scenario where we take on work we are neither trained nor remunerated for.
Negotiations are currently underway for our new CEA. At the time of writing this, FENZ are responding to the many evidence based claims submitted on your behalf. Then the horse trading will begin in earnest. I dare say that with the Government of the day tightening purse strings, and FENZ having emptied the bucket with amalgamation and a burgeoning population of administration at NHQ to fund, we will be asking your opinion on some forms of industrial action in relatively short order. As with everything else this year, it is happening under the shadow of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The Professional Firefighters Union has led the way in keeping not only our members, but our communities safe from Covid, as FENZ national leadership took an age to gather inertia in its response. Many hours were invested in planning meetings as we worked out practical ways of keeping everyone safe, this work continues to this day due to the Delta resurgence.
Property and Fleet issues have been foremost in our activities this last year. Great passion and persistence shown by your President has hastened the rebuild of Tauranga Station and bought pressure to bear to seek commitment to district wide planning for future stations. Your Vice President Karne has been taking the lead in holding our organisations feet to the fire, over our inadequate and aging fleet. Please keep up the good work of reporting faults promptly, CC’ing Karne in with the emails, and not accepting faulty relief appliances.
Maintaining effective and collaborative relationships with our Volunteer brethren is a goal of your executive and has resulted in pragmatic solutions to provide a better service to our local and regional populations. The alternative staffing of Greertons’ tanker has been one result, as has the success in agreeing to replace the Hose layer with a new fit for purpose vehicle next financial year. Neither of these would have been achieved without respectful and sensible partnerships.
Safety issues have taken a lot of attention this year as usual. Finding a way through the minefield of the new hose testing regime, attempting to rectify tower faults to what should have been a very simple allocation of Helmet torches.
This year we have bid farewell to Neil Patrick as he sailed away into retirement, and Roger is serving his last few sets of shifts, as he has called time on his long career as well. The Local will struggle with the history of institutional knowledge we will lose with the departure of these two fine gentlemen. We are forever grateful for their long service. With their absence, we would be keen to have a representative of our officer ranks join the committee, to advocate for things that lower ranked firefighters may not see the importance of. Please think about who you would see as beneficial in this role and suggest they put their hands up when the time comes.
This year our Local has welcomed a small number of new members on board from newly established roles in the organisation, I’m sure more will follow as they see the value in membership of the NZPFU.
Your committee thanks you for your support this year as we “Help you to help yourselves”
Tauranga Local Secretary