On behalf of the National President Ian Wright and the National Vice President Joseph Stanley, the National Council wishes our members a safe and cheery festive season.

We particularly acknowledge our members who will be working through the Christmas and New Year holiday period missing out on family, festivities and fun to protect and serve the community. The work and dedication of professional career firefighters, communications centre dispatchers, Volunteer Support Officers and FRMOs does not cease over this period and they will continue to put their health and wellbeing on the line for the protection of the community. 

For those that are having a break, we hope you have a well-deserved stress-free season to re-charge and reconnect.

We thank the National Committee and all the Local officials and committee members. In addition to your service protecting the community your willingness to spend previous time to support and advocate for our members is greatly appreciated. We are a small union with limited resources but through your efforts and experience we not only protect the terms and conditions of employment but actively enhance the working lives of our members.

We acknowledge and appreciate the support and sacrifice of the families of our members and union representatives. Families of emergency service workers sacrifice precious family time and having their loved one at important events and milestones as a result of shift work, overtime and the inherent sense of service. This impacts on the ability to play sports, have regular weekend events or be there family gatherings and activities throughout the year.

We also thank all those that have supported the NZPFU and its membership this year. Our global alliance of firefighters’ unions is strong and a great source of support, inspiration and assistance. Our comrades throughout the New Zealand union movement are united in the mission of improving the working lives of our people. We also acknowledge our relationships within FENZ and externally that we work with where possible to build a the best fire and emergency service it can be.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of preparations for festivities, this is a time for reflection. The NZPFU is a strong and unified union protecting the present while forging the future. Our role is to protect the protectors recognising that we are guardians for the future generations of membership. The coming year will have significant challenges for our members but we are united and well equipped to face those challenges to protect the interests of the community and our members.

On a personal note I would like to thank Ian, Joseph, the National Committee and our Locals’ leadership for the tremendous support you have provided me over the past year. I have huge respect and appreciation for the work you do and am really looking forward to working with you all next year. A big thank you to our Wellington and Northern Branch Office staff Lyn and Anne, and our webmaster Jaron. The offices will be closed over the Christmas-New Year period but I will be available by mobile and email.

Meri Kirihimete me ngā mihi o te tau hou

In unity, 
Wattie Watson 
National Secretary

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