Initially FENZ did not include the NZPFU on the Organisational Design of Tranche 2 Group on the basis our members would not be directly affected by the outcomes and that we would be invited to be involved in the testing of the draft design and consulted on any resulting proposal..

This was particularly concerning for the NZPFU as Tranche 2 will set up the structure for the operation of FENZ in carrying out its main functions of protection of life and property which includes fire safety, response and rescue. Not only are our members directly affected by any organisational structure it is undisputed they undertake approximately 80 percent of all response. Any management position that impacts on the main functions directly affects our members. The health, safety and wellbeing of our members on the incident ground, and the safety and protection of the community, are directly affected by the structure that has become known as Tranche 2.

After formally advising the Deputy Chief Executive Service Delivery Kerry Gregory of our view including FENZ’s the statutory and contractual obligations, it was agreed that the NZPFU would have a representative on the Tranche 2 Design Group. FENZ’s initial position had been that the involvement in the design processes relating to whether members of the organisations could be directly affected by any change compared to those unions or organisations whose members could be indirectly affected or subject to minor change in terms and conditions of employment. However are having “carefully considered the points made in your email and previously made in our conversations about organisational design” Mr Gregory confirmed he recognised “and agree with the importance you place on good leadership and the potential impact that poor leadership can have on your members and their ability to do their jobs effectively and safely. Despite the significant involvement you have had to date in the overall design processes for all of the components of Tranche 2, it is clear that you do not consider this sufficient” and offered the Union a position at the table.

Our representative Wellington Local Secretary Alan Collett has met with Kerry Gregory to be briefed on the work the design group had already done and the basis for that work. Today he was in the Tranche 2 Design Group meeting.

We had already secured a representative (Hamilton Local Secretary Peter Hallett) on the Tranche 2B (risk reduction positions at district levels) working group and representatives on the Unified Service Delivery (USD) Working Rank and Role group which is charged with looking at command and control and the application of rank in the organisation. Our USD Rank and Role working group representatives include Vice President Joe Stanley, Wellington Local Secretary Alan Collett, Hamilton Local President Blair Kiely, Southern Branch President Graeme (Norm) Gilroy and Auckland Local Committee Member Mark Neville.

From the NZPFU’s perspective these working groups are critical to the preservation and protection of the professionalism of career firefighting including the underpinning qualification, service and rank structures which directly relate to the safety of our members on the incident ground. For those reasons we have selected our representatives for their specific skill sets and experience and they have put enormous time and energy into providing the evidential basis for our position and representing our members’ interests. It is significant work and we are very fortunate to have such a wealth of subject matter experts within our union structure.

In unity, 
Wattie Watson 
National Secretary

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