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Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bulletin – 15/6/17

Welcome to the 5th issue of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bulletin. With just over two weeks until Day One, a lot of things are falling into place. With increasing amounts of  information available it’s important that you are able to find what you need.
To help, our business services people have been updated and will be able to help answer questions. We’ve also set up a Change Support Network and we’re setting up a dedicated phone line and email support to help guide you  through the next steps. Find out more below.
Please feel free to print  this information sheet and pass it on. Please also check past issues of the Board Update and the Bulletin on the Transition Project’s website. If you have any questions or comments, please email myvoice@fenzproject.co.nz

Download the PDF Version here (542kb)

OLT Appointment
John Rasmussen has been appointed National Manager Rural Operations on a two year fixed term. He will be a member of the Operational Leadership Team (OLT). 

Planning beyond Day One: Phase 2 Blueprint
Day One is an historic moment, but it’s only the start. It’s over the next three years that the real benefits of establishing Fire and Emergency New Zealand will begin to be felt.

There’ll be a lot happening as we integrate urban and rural fire and emergency services, but at the same time it’s vital to continue to deliver the services our communities rely on.

From 1 July 2017, the Chief Executive and the Strategic Leadership Team will be responsible for both ‘business as usual’ delivery of services and integration work.

Transition Director David Strong will continue as a member of the Strategic Leadership Team with the new title of Integration Director. He will lead the Integration Group, which will be part of Fire and Emergency in the same way as other business groups.

Some integration projects will be led and managed by the Integration Group and some by business groups within Fire and Emergency NHQ. As with the transition work to date, the integration will continue to involve our people – drawing on collective knowledge, skills and expertise through the ‘co-design’ process.

The plan for the integration phase can be found in the newly released Phase 2 Blueprint summary online at fenzproject.co.nz/phase-2-blueprint.

The Phase 2 Blueprint is a work plan and contains six strategic priorities and three ‘enabling’ functions. The strategic priorities outline what we need to achieve in the next three years. The enabling functions support these.

The six strategic priorities are:
· Integrated organisation and operating model
· Safety, health, and wellbeing
· Resilient communities
· Volunteerism
· Risk reduction
· Leadership across the sector.
The three enabling functions are:
· People capability, leadership, culture
· Infrastructure
· Project and change management (including communications and stakeholder engagement).

Grouped into these categories of work are around 70 projects. Some are a continuation of projects that are already underway and some are new.

In the first 12 months, the main effort for the Integration Team will be designing the Target Operating Model.
This is a bit like developing the architectural plans for a new home. We need to carefully think about how we want our new organisation to work before we build it. We’ll need to make choices about things like centralised vs decentralised systems and decision-making, the degree of flexibility in brigades and fire forces, and how we best work together. This will need input and involvement from across Fire and Emergency and our stakeholders. Our first step is to plan how and when to involve people in the co-design process.

We can only work on our strategic priorities if our organisation is stable. That means keeping the trucks rolling out the doors and serving our communities will continue to be as important as any integration activity.
 
 
Day One Tool Kit on its way
The Day One Tool Kit is being delivered to all stations, brigades, Voluntary Rural Fire Forces, and other offices and premises, this week. It includes practical information and directs you to further resources.

In the pack:
· A welcome message from the Chair
· Ten ‘quick reference cards’ which recap key information
· A magazine with stories from people involved in setting up Fire and Emergency New Zealand
· A plaque
· Posters and a postcard for handing out to any community members asking about the new organisation
· A video message from the new Chief Executive, Rhys Jones, National Manager Urban Paul McGill and National Manager Rural Kevin O’Connor included on a memory stick.
 
You can find the contents of the pack online at fenzproject.co.nz/dayone, If your site hasn’t received a pack by Friday 23 June 2017, please email support@fireandemergency.nz
  
 
Recruitment for new roles


New volunteer support roles
New roles created to provide additional support for training and development, in-field support and safety, health and wellbeing will be filled during the first year of Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

The Transition Project Team is currently working with the organisational leadership team, which includes the new Regional Managers Rural (RMRs) and the Manager Regional Training to confirm the recruitment process for these roles.

Further updates will be made when we have more information. We expect the recruitment process to start towards the end of June and continue through to December 2017.

Rural roles
As part of the transfer of rural personnel to Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Territorial Authority (TA) employees working partly on fire duties who did not meet the definition to transfer, were invited to submit an ‘Expression of Interest’ (EoI) for vacancies in their district. Vacancies in areas where there were no partly-fire TA employees went straight out to wider advertising.

The EoI process has now been completed and five appointments have been confirmed.
The interviewing process for seven PRFO vacancies is underway, and we’re at various stages of shortlisting, interviewing and making offers for the 11 DPRFO vacancies.

Additionally recruitment is underway for three Business Services Coordinators, and five new Rural Business Services Managers. This week advertising began for two Rural Management Advisors and a PRFO for North Canterbury.


Rural structure
From 1 July, approximately 63 Rural Fire Authority employees will join Fire and Emergency New Zealand. There will also be a number of additional roles supporting rural fire services.

The new rural organisational structures are arranged in similar geographical areas as the current urban fire boundaries. You can check these out at fenzproject.co.nz in the “Leaders resources” section of the “Tool kit”.

The majority of additional roles for rural will either be in volunteer support or will provide services previously available from a territorial authority or Enlarged Rural Fire District. Additionally, rural has five new Regional Managers Rural, who look after rural fire services, and are part of the Operational Leadership Team.

 
Local Government arrangements
The Project team is working closely with the 50 Territorial Authorities (TAs) who currently have responsibility for fire services, to transition these to Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
 
Due to the scale of the amalgamation, not all the rural fire services and support provided by TAs will be transferred on 1 July 2017 so transitional agreements with local government are being developed.
 
These documents cover, for example, the continued use of office space and equipment for rural fire personnel, and access to personnel who have specific expertise, such as fire investigators and aircraft managers, as and when needed.
 
The Project team is also liaising with local government on the use of fire response assets and fire permitting.
Local government representatives met in Wellington late last month for an update on the project’s progress, and discussion about their role.
 
The response from local government has been encouraging and supportive. Each TA organises its rural fire services in a different way so we are working one-on-one with them to ensure the transition is as smooth possible. Resources for local government are available on fenzproject.co.nz under “Tool kit”.


Authorised Persons
Authorised person is a term used in our new legislation to assign functions, duties and powers to personnel. Officers and firefighters get their powers to fight fires and deal with other incident emergency types by being authorised persons.

We are working on a process to get fire fighters and operational officers authorised before 1 July so that they can respond to fires and other emergencies. We started sending authorisation documentation to stations/brigades/fire forces on 8 June and all of those should be received by 23 June.

There have been a number of questions from other roles in the field (including Operational Support, Training Officers and Volunteer Support Officers) about whether they will become an “authorised person”. We are discussing  with  Fire Region Managers whether other  personnel should be authorised, and, if so, which ones. Depending on the outcome of these discussions we would aim to have any  appropriate personnel authorised by 1 July, or soon after.

Please note that not being an “authorised person” does not prevent people (such as Operational Support, Training Officers and VSOs) from doing things at emergencies when directed to do so by an  authorised person (such as an incident controller). 
 

New dispute processes
One of the initiatives to support volunteers involves the introduction on 1 July of two new dispute resolution processes – the Volunteer Issues Process and the Interim Dispute Resolution Process.

Volunteer Issues Process
The Volunteer Issues Process will enable volunteers to raise issues of concern in a timely and simple way. The aim of the process is to manage issues as early and as locally as possible, and in a way that respects the contribution of volunteers, recognises that they operate as part of a community and aims to help relationships be as good as they can be.

Interim Dispute Resolution Process
The Interim Dispute Resolution Process (IDRP) is available for any matter raised under the Fire and Emergency Act, including by the general public or community.

It is a formal process and it is envisaged that most volunteer issues will be managed at the Volunteer Issues Process level by the CFO or Controller. Volunteers may apply to have the issue reviewed through the Interim Dispute Resolution Process.

Both processes will be based on the principles of accessibility, independence, fairness, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness.

Further information on these two processes will be available from 1 July on the volunteer pages of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand intranet.
 

Change Support network established
A network of Change Support people has been established to assist Leaders and operational personnel with sharing key information about the transition to Fire and Emergency New Zealand and to provide continuing support through the integration phase (post Day One).

Change support people will be another key point of contact for personnel seeking information or wanting to share any thoughts or concerns about the transition. Their role is to provide support for their colleagues and advice for Leaders and the Transition/Integration Project on how we can better support our people through change.

The network consists of 85 members of areas/brigades/stations/teams nationwide, across both rural and urban.

A list of names for the Change Support people in your region can be found under the FAQ section of fenzproject.co.nz

We encourage you to speak with your leader or your Change Support person if you have any questions, issues or concerns about the transition.

Nominated delegates from the United Fire Brigades’ Association, Forest and Rural Firefighters Association NZ, the NZ Professional Firefighters Union and the Public Service Association are also part of the Change Support network.
 

Transition letters update
Over the next few weeks New Zealand Fire Service volunteers will receive their letter and Volunteer Engagement document. These were sent out to regional offices from the end of May. Please remember there is no requirement for any urban volunteer to sign their letter or Volunteer Engagement document because there is no change to the terms and conditions of engagement or employment – there is just a change to the name of the organisation you are engaged by.

If you haven’t received these documents already, please talk to your Chief Fire Officer.

Rural volunteers
Rural volunteers should have received their Volunteer Engagement Document. Please remember to sign and return it if you haven’t already. This is slightly different to the process for urban volunteers because of the wide variety of ways in which rural volunteers are currently engaged.

Employees
The distribution of transition letters for New Zealand Fire Service and National Rural Fire Authority employees began on Wednesday 7 June. Fire Region Managers will distribute the letters for their direct reports, and Area Managers will distribute the letter for their operational employees. NHQ employees will receive their letter from their line manager, except where otherwise instructed.
If you haven’t received your transition letter, please contact your manager.


Dedicated Transition Helpdesk
A dedicated Transition Helpdesk is being established to support you through the transition.
 
From 1 July 2017, you can call 0800 232 015 or email support@fireandemergency.nz with any questions you may have about HR, pay, fleet management, property, safety, health & wellbeing.
 
A team of subject management specialists will be available to answer your questions. If they can’t answer you then and there, they will find someone who can, and get back to you as soon as possible.


Help available for ICT
If you need any help with a phone, pager, computer, radio, or printer, from 1 July 2017 onwards, contact the ICT Helpdesk on 0800 374 843.
 
· For all computer, passwords, or Motorola ICG Radios queries – press 1
· For SMS, SMART and MPAD queries – press 2
· For operational comms questions, including HAZMAT commands – press 3.
 
This is the same phone number as currently used for the NZFS ICT Helpdesk.


Essential skills and knowledge update
We are well underway with the delivery of our essential skills and knowledge for Day One training. Check out our learning calendar at fenzproject.co.nz under “Day One” for upcoming events, which include a mix of targeted face-to-face training, online self-paced learning, lunchbox presentations, and telephone and video conferences. We have already got positive comments from some of the events held so far:

“Excellent work which will be useful going forward for us as the first key leadership group.”
David Stackhouse, Area Commander (about the regular teleconferences).

“Just to let you know that the pilot course received rave reviews from our FRMO that attended. Well documented, good prep modules, and easy to follow.”
Neil Cameron, Principal Advisor Fire Risk Management (about the Inspector Training session).
 
If anyone is required to attend a workshop or face-to-face training, they will be contacted directly or through their manager. If you have questions about this please let us know through support@fireandemergency.nz
  
 
Using our new brand
An important part of the new brand rollout is the development and supply of templates we can all use, such as PowerPoint and letterhead. The design team has been very busy ensuring we have these ready for Day One.

The new Fire and Emergency New Zealand templates for Day One will include: 
· PowerPoint
· Letterhead
· Memorandum
· Report

You will be able to download these from our new intranet from 1 July.

Also available for order through Landau Print will be business cards and with compliments slips, which your business services team will be able to get using your normal stationary ordering process.

This is just the start of the new Fire and Emergency New Zealand brand rollout. There is more coming and we will continue to keep you, and the relevant suppliers, up to date with the changes.
 

Questions and Answers

Why does the Transition Project’s work often focus on volunteers and rural fire services?
The volunteer support initiatives, and the investment in rural fire services, are a direct response to the findings of the Fire Services Review. Strengthening support for volunteers is written in the legislation setting up Fire and Emergency New Zealand, and we must, by law, make it happen.

The Fire Services Review has resulted in new money being given to Fire and Emergency New Zealand to address under-investment in some areas. This is because in many cases the standards for rural and in volunteer support are variable and we need consistent approaches and standards.

It’s also important to understand we are not cutting into existing budgets to fund new initiatives or roles for volunteers or rural – we are using additional money provided by the Government to do this work. 
The role of career firefighters is, and will remain, an essential part of Fire and Emergency New Zealand. Fire and Emergency New Zealand and the public will continue to rely on the strengths and expertise of career firefighters. It’s our intent to build on this.

It will take time to increase understanding and build relationships between urban and rural, and volunteer and career firefighters. We’re only at the start, but the intent is all our personnel are treated fairly and with respect.

What will the benefits of Fire and Emergency NZ be for career firefighters?
Overall, there’s up to $191 million in new funding over four years, which will help build Fire and Emergency New Zealand. In the first year of Fire and Emergency New Zealand we will be developing the target operating model for the new organisation. This will review how we go about our business across every aspect, from strategy and processes to people and capabilities, and includes our culture.

It includes addressing our urban and rural boundaries, management structures, and our approach to command and control. It’s from this work that investment decisions (from new and existing money) will be targeted to other areas of the wider organisation. To find out more about additional training, new job opportunities and improvements to our systems and IT, go to the FAQs at fenzproject.co.nz/faq

What is my new login and password?
From 1 July, all Fire and Emergency New Zealand personnel will have a new username in the IT system. The format will be: firstname.lastname@fireandemergency.nz

If you have previously been using the system, for example as an NZFS employee, you will need to enter your new username and then your existing password.

If you are new to the system, you will get a password provided to you before 1 July. You will be able to change this password after you have logged in for the first time.

What is my email address from 1 July?
firstname.lastname@fireandemergency.nz.
Note that there is no ‘.org’ or ‘.co’ in the email address.

How do I get funding for my Day One event?
Event funding will be deposited into existing urban brigade social club or grant bank accounts. For VRFFs, efforts are being made to set up VRFF grant bank accounts to distribute funding. However, if these are not available in time, the Principal Rural Fire Officer (PRFO) will be authorised to purchase on the VRFF’s behalf (within agreed funding limits).

Phase 2 Blueprint

The Phase 2 Blueprint is the high level plan covering the second stage of establishing Fire and Emergency New Zealand. This is the integration phase and starts on 1 July 2017 and ends three years later in June 2020.

Integration follows the amalgamation of 40 organisations into one fire service on 1 July 2017. This phase will see the integration of rural and urban systems, processes and tools, to build a single organisation and lay the foundations for unification from 2020.

You can read a summary of the Blueprint here.

Watch a two-minute video of Transition Director, David Strong, talking about the integration phase.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bulletin – 31/5/17

Welcome to the 4th issue of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bulletin. Since our last issue, the Bill received Royal Assent, the five Regional Managers Rural have been announced for the new organisation, and Day One preparation sessions have begun in the lead up to 1 July. Find out more in this issue.

Please feel free to print  this information sheet and pass it on.
 
Please also check past issues of the Board Update and the Bulletin on the Transition Project’s website. If you have any questions or comments, please email myvoice@fenzproject.co.nz

 

Training Approach
Operational readiness is the focus for any training and learning needs up to Day One. If there are any changes to functions and powers for operational staff, then they will have received training on these changes before 30th of June. Training will include:

· FENZ Inspector Role and Powers
· Overview of the Fire and Emergency NZ Act
· Changed systems and processes
· Interim dispute resolution approach
· Command and control policy

This is only a selection of what’s coming. Please go to fenzproject.co.nz where you will be able to find a copy of the draft learning calendar, to be finalised shortly.
 
RMRs Appointed
Congratulations to the newly-appointed Regional Managers Rural:
· Bryan Cartelle (Region 1)
· John Sutton (Region 2)
· Gary Lockyer (Region 3)
· Richard McNamara (Region 4)
· Mike Grant (Region 5)

Read more on the website


Proud History, Bright Future – Day One events
Fire and Emergency New Zealand ‘Day One’ on 1 July 2017 is shaping up to be a fun day, with events being planned in a number of places including Upper Hutt, Hawera, Gisborne and Manawatu as well as the national Ministerial event in Ashburton. 

To mark the amalgamation of the New Zealand Fire Service, National Rural Fire Authority and Rural Fire Authorities into Fire and Emergency New Zealand, we are supporting events to honour our proud history, thank our people for the great work they do, and look forward to a bright future. 

Funding will be provided to contribute to the cost of events where our stations, brigades and Voluntary Rural Fire Forces want to mark the day with the communities they serve. Funding will be allocated according to a formula based on the number of firefighters per station/brigade/VRFF, at $15 per head.

For other locations such as National and Regional Headquarters there will also be an event, such as a morning tea, to acknowledge and thank our people.

Event funding will be deposited into existing urban brigade social club/grant bank accounts. For VRFFs, efforts are being made to set up VRFF grant bank accounts to distribute funding, however if these are not available in time the Principal Rural Fire Officer (PRFO) will be authorised to purchase on the VRFF’s behalf (within agreed funding limits).

Unfortunately there isn’t time or resources to produce flags or banners for Day One events, but there will be posters showcasing the new identity.

Every location will get copies of these as part of your Day One toolkit (see next item).

If you are wanting resources to hand out to children at Day One events, there are fire safety stickers and temporary tattoos available, that don’t have either the current or the new branding on them. These can be ordered through the online ordering (OLO) system. These stickers and temporary tattoos can be found using order codes FS1726 and FS1713.

Access to the online ordering system is available to:
· executive and station officers
· key regional promotions and fire risk management personnel
· Volunteer Support Officers and Chief Fire Officers.
If you require access to OLO or want to enquire about promotional resources, please contact: Online.Ordering@fire.org.nz.

Day One toolkit
In mid-June a Day One toolkit will be delivered to all of our stations, brigades and Voluntary Rural Fire Forces and other offices and premises. This will contain:
· Plaque commemorating the amalgamation into Fire and Emergency New Zealand
· Welcome message from the Chair and a publication about Fire and Emergency New Zealand
· video message from the new Chief Executive, Rhys Jones, alongside the NCU Paul McGill and NMR Kevin O’Connor
· quick reference guides to help you find any information you need
· posters and postcard showcasing the new identity

Day One Preparation Sessions
Across the country personnel have been gathering to hear from their leaders at the Day One Preparation Briefings. Already, about 150 briefings have been held.  The briefings provide a lot of information across a number of important topics, including command and control, inspector powers, safety, health and wellbeing, and volunteer support.

One of the most-discussed topics at the briefings has been command and control. You can hear the Deputy National Commander Kerry Gregory, Chair of the PRFOs group Mike Grant and union and association representatives explaining their perspective on Command and Control for Day One here.

There are also videos on other topics on the Transition website , along with factsheets and frequently asked questions. If you still have questions, please get in touch through myvoice@fenzproject.co.nz

At National Headquarters, briefings for personnel will be held on Friday 9 June and Thursday 15 June. Keep an eye out for your invitation.

Leaders are reminded there is a teleconference every Friday providing updates, and this week the topic is budgets. Email engagement@fenzproject.co.nz for teleconference details.

Update on Identity
Now that the new logo has been signed off, you will gradually start to see it appearing around the place.
Some online materials such as training resources for Fire and Emergency New Zealand will appear in June with the new logo.

By 1 July, it will be on the new website and intranet, and you’ll get tools such as email signatures and letterhead templates. The new URL is fireandemergency.nz.

However, as we’ve always said, we won’t be able to roll out the new identity everywhere by Day One. Planning is getting underway for the medium-term rollout across new vehicles, uniform and premises, with detailed schedules and budgets to be finalised.

We do want to make sure the identity is highly visible at the Ministerial Day One event in Ashburton, and on the shoulder of senior leadership uniforms across the country.

It’s been tricky finding the right balance between showcasing the new identity and managing delivery times and costs. The Leadership Team have decided it’s worth investing a small amount to get some early visibility, ahead of the full rollout.

In Ashburton, you’ll see four vehicles showcasing the new identity – a Type 2 fire truck, a rural tanker and two utes.

You’ll also see leadership and our hosts – Ashburton rural and urban volunteers – wearing shirts with the new identity on the shoulder patches – blue shirts for urban, and grey for mid-south Canterbury rural.

The grey shirts are the colour that mid-south Canterbury rural staff currently wear. It’s important to be clear that these are a one-off, for the Day One event. They are not being made available elsewhere and are not a new national uniform item.

Blue uniform shirts with the new logo will be available to all urban staff later – we have rushed through a small initial order to get some in time for Day One.

You’ll also see Board members and Organisational Leadership Team (OLT) members in black windbreakers, similar to the ones OLT currently wear. Again, these are a one-off and not a new uniform item.
Beyond Ashburton, across the country, the National Commander Urban and National Manager Rural have decided that senior leaders should wear the new identity on uniforms from 1 July, as they are engaging with partners in the wider emergency sector.

The new logo will appear on current uniforms over time, but keep in mind that there will be a review of uniforms during the integration phase (the next 3 years).

Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q. I’ve heard that when career staff transfer to Fire and Emergency New Zealand, we will be new employees and subject to a 90 day trial or probationary period. Is this correct?
A. No. Career staff who transfer from New Zealand Fire Service on 1 July will not be regarded as new employees.  All career staff will be transitioning on the same terms and conditions with length of service counted from when people started with New Zealand Fire Service.  Nobody will be subject to a 90 day trial or a probationary period. The only change for career staff will be a change in the name of employer to Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
 
Q. How do I refer to the new organisation after 1 July?
A. The new organisation’s formal name is Fire and Emergency New Zealand, as set out in the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act. This is how we should refer to it in writing in any formal documents (although in a longer document such as a report, if we’re using the name frequently,  we can abbreviate to FENZ, after the first reference). When we’re talking about our organisation, we suggest people can choose to drop “New Zealand” and say  “Fire and Emergency” in the same way people say “Police” rather than “New Zealand Police”.
We are discouraging people from saying “FENZ” when they are talking, because it doesn’t convey the same meaning as “Fire and Emergency”. The only place where the “and” is absent is in the logo. Here, the words are just one part of the visual identity of our organisation which together with recognised symbols are intended to help people identify us at a glance.

Volunteer Year One Package
In the first year of Fire and Emergency New Zealand, a range of initiatives to support volunteers will get underway. These initiatives aim to support and sustain our volunteer workforce to enable them to better serve the communities they work in These initiatives are being funded from new money; we are not reducing any existing budgets.  These are a starting point that we will build on over time. These include:

Additional Funding
There will be funding for:
· Additional leadership development courses and coaching and mentoring for volunteer leaders
· Increased resources for brigades who want to recruit support volunteers (non-operational) for administration tasks
 
New roles
There will be many new ‘full-time equivalent’ roles for additional training, development, in-field support and
co-ordinator roles will be filled during the first year of Fire and Emergency New Zealand to support urban volunteer brigades and voluntary rural fire forces. These new roles will also provide opportunities for development and progression for career fire fighters. These are:
· 8 (of up to 15) x additional Volunteer Support Officers to increase provision of support to volunteers in key Areas (Urban)
· 5 x support roles to ensure provision of support in rural areas, and to help close gaps in the new organisational structure (Rural)
· 12 x additional Capability Trainers to help improve Brigade operational response capability and sustainability (Urban)
· 5 x Regional Training Coordinators to be integrated into regional training teams to help reduce training administration, and to ensure the right training support is in place (Rural)
· 2 x Volunteer Development Managers, as a pilot, to help build leadership, team and support capability, including understanding of volunteer development needs (Rural and Urban)
· 1 x new trainer to deliver an additional 10 ‘brigade training officer’ training courses, adapted to the rural environment (Rural)
· 1 x Recruitment Coordinator (Rural), 1 x recruitment administrator, and 1 x fixed term recruitment support assistant within the Volunteer Resilience Team (Rural and Urban)
· 1 x fixed term business analyst, and 2 x fixed term process redesign specialists to help ease administrative burden (Rural and Urban)
· 10 full time equivalents across two Regions to ‘pilot’ new ways of delivering support to volunteers (Rural and Urban)
· 10 x additional Safety, Health and Wellbeing Coordinators to provide advice to leaders and assist with meeting compliance requirements (Rural, Urban). These roles will also provide support for career fire fighters.
· 2 x volunteer data coordinators and 1 x business analyst to maintain volunteer data, including for facilitation of communications direct with all volunteers (Rural and Urban)
We will let you know when we start recruiting for these roles.
 
Volunteer support pilots
There are four new ideas to be piloted and used to inform the development of future initiatives for volunteer support. These include:
· 2 x new Volunteer Development Manager positions to work with Brigades and Fire Forces with a focus on learning and development.
· Additional funding to provide financial management training and support to volunteer brigades and voluntary rural fire forces
· A pilot in a number of regions to determine how additional funding could be used in new ways to best support local volunteer needs.
· Using online technology and innovation laboratories to source ideas from volunteers on how to improve support to volunteers.

Volunteers will also have access to Advocacy and Support services, as well as a Volunteer Issues and Interim Dispute Resolution Process, and health and wellness initiatives (such as psychological support, vaccination programme, and health monitoring). For more information and the timeframe for rollout download the factsheet at fenzproject.co.nz/fact-sheets
 
Rural Volunteer Engagement Document
By now all rural volunteers should have received a Volunteer Engagement document, which sets out volunteers’ terms of engagement with Fire and Emergency New Zealand, and the organisation’s commitments to volunteers.
Rural volunteers need to sign the document so that their transfer to Fire and Emergency New Zealand is legally recognised and they can become an authorised person. It also allows us to ensure that the arrangements under which they are currently engaged as volunteers are retained. We have asked that the document is signed within seven days of receipt to ensure that everyone is legally transferred by 1 July.
If anyone needs an extension to this deadline, please contact Karen Keeley or Bridget McBean from the Day One Transition Team (karen.keeley@fenzproject.co.nz or bridget.mcbean@fenzproject.co.nz).



Transition letters for NZFS employees and volunteers and NRFA employees
Due to the sheer volume of letters going out, there will be a phased approach to the distribution of transition letters for New Zealand Fire Service employees and volunteers and National Rural Fire Authority employees to Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

A transition letter and Volunteer Engagement document will be distributed to NZFS volunteers, via your Chief Fire Officer, from Wednesday 31 May.  

Transition letters for New Zealand Fire Service and National Rural Fire Authority employees will be distributed from Wednesday 7 June. Fire Region Managers will distribute the letters for their direct reports, and Area Managers are being asked to distribute the letter packs for their operational employees. NHQ employees will receive their letter from their line manager, except where otherwise instructed.

There will be no requirement for anyone to sign their letter or Volunteer Engagement document because there is no change to the terms and conditions of engagement or employment – there is just a change to the name of the organisation you are employed or engaged by.

The service start date in your letter is what has been provided from the PSE system. We recognise that, in some instances, there will be personnel who have multiple service periods. We would like to assure you that all service periods will continue to be recognised and your service will be continuous.

SMS Training and Changes
From 1 July 2017, all incidents should be entered into the Station Management System (SMS).
Don’t worry if you’ve never used SMS before – processes will be set up to ensure your incident data is put into SMS. For Rural personnel, this is likely to involve your Business Services people helping you, including entering data if required.

To make SMS’s Incident Reporting module easier to use, the system has been given a ‘new face’ and updated features. All other parts of SMS remain the same.

The key changes to the Incident Reporting module are:
· A new ‘look and feel’ to make the system more intuitive to use
· Incident types have been reduced from 99 to 27
· A vegetation incident reporting module has been added.
 
Training
Training for the SMS Incident Module will be available from the last week of June 2017.
New SMS users will be offered a range of learning options which include quick reference guides, face to face training and an online e-learning module. The business support team for Rural, as well as other staff nominated in the Rural teams, will be trained to support input of data into SMS. This training will be provided as close as possible to 1 July in forums that are already scheduled, e.g. the PRFO and DPRFO meeting on 14 June and as part of the Business Services induction in the first week of July.

No formal training is required for existing SMS users. A document will be available highlighting the changes to the Incident Reporting module, and a training ‘sandbox’ will be available for practice before 1 July.
 
Rural Data Collected
Gathering the data required to pay rural personnel and suppliers, keep people’s training and leave records up-to-date, and manage health and safety and fire permitting, has been underway since the end of April. A specialist data migration team from the transition project has been visiting up to ten rural fire authorities a week in order to extract the data required.

Once this data is collected, it is then verified and passed to the technical experts in the data migration team to transform and load to the new IT systems for testing. Uploading data is run in stages. For example, supplier data is verified then loaded in batches as early as possible so that rural suppliers are in place and can be paid in a timely manner from 1 July.

Data migration team lead Sarah Boud says the collection visits are going well and are on track to finish by the end of May. The data migration team as a collective, would like to extend a huge thanks to PRFOs, and everyone they’ve spoken to so far, for their time and cooperation through the collection process.

Board Update – 29/5/17

The new Fire and Emergency New Zealand legislation received Royal Assent from the Governor-General on 11 May, after passing in Parliament.
 
In other words, our new legislation has all the formal approval it needs to come into effect on 1 July 2017. The new Act enables the establishment of Fire and Emergency New Zealand and gives us the legislative mandate for everything we’ve been working to achieve. You can read the latest version here.

Regional Manager Rural appointments

The Board was very pleased with the appointments of five new Regional Manager Rural positions for Fire and Emergency New Zealand on Friday 19 May.
 
The five Regional Manager Rural positions, which are two-year appointments, are new roles that will report to the National Manager Rural Kevin O’Connor from 1 July. They will work alongside the Fire Region Managers (urban) to ensure consistency of our fire response while we work towards a full integration over the next 2-3 years. Principal Rural Fire Officers will report to the Regional Managers Rural and more details on this will be provided in the next couple of weeks.
 

Region 1 – Bryan Cartelle
Region 2 – John Sutton
Region 3 – Gary Lockyer
Region 4 – Richard (Mac) McNamara
Region 5 – Mike Grant
 
You can read more about the appointees and their backgrounds here.
 
All five appointments have considerable rural fire experience and will make an excellent contribution to the integration of urban fire services and rural fire authorities into our new organisation, without disruption to day-to-day operations.

Day One Events

Saturday 1 July will be a significant day in New Zealand’s fire and emergency history. To mark the day, Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne, the Board, Chief Executive Rhys Jones, National Commander Urban Paul McGill and National Manager Rural Kevin O’Connor will join urban and rural fire personnel in Ashburton to celebrate the formation of Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
 
A street parade has been planned involving fire appliances through the ages and a couple of urban and rural appliances will be decked out in the new logo. It promises to be a great day. The Board is also encouraging all stations, brigades and volunteer rural fire forces around the country to host their own local Day One events, and has agreed to provide funding to contribute to the cost of events, according to a formula based on the number of firefighters per station.
 
You could put this towards a morning tea, BBQ or other community event. What you decide to do is completely up to you and your teams but we encourage urban and rural stations, brigades and fire forces to come together to mark the occasion with colleagues, families, employers, and community.
 
Each one of our fire stations or premises – from the big and historic Wellington Central station, to the most remote rural volunteer facility – will get a wall plaque as part of the Day One information packs, which will be distributed from mid-June. The design signifies the coming together of urban and rural fire services into a new organisation, showcases our new visual identity, and should stand the test of time.
 
More details on this and the Day One event funding allocation will be available in the next Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bulletin.

Day One – Volunteer Support Initiatives

The Board has approved the Year One volunteer support initiatives, which are a big milestone for volunteers and the new organisation.
 
The volunteer support initiatives include over 50 additional training, development, in-field support and co-ordinator roles supporting volunteer rural fire forces and urban volunteer brigades. These positions will be filled during the first year of Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
 
Year One will also see additional funding for local and flexible volunteer training, and locally-based pilots to identify new ways to meet the differing needs of individual brigades and volunteer rural fire forces and help reduce the administrative burden. As one volunteer said “we’re here to do community work, not paper work”.
 
More details of these initiatives will be available in the next Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bulletin.
 
A wide range of volunteer and career personnel from across the urban and rural sectors have been brought together to tell us how things could be done better in the future. I’d like to thank everyone involved for their valuable input into these Year One volunteer support initiatives.
 
Fire and Emergency New Zealand will continue making improvements in this area over the next three years to encourage, maintain and strengthen the capability of volunteers.

Safety, health and wellbeing

The Board would like to acknowledge the important role the five unions and associations (NZPFU, NZFRCA, UFBA, FRFANZ, PSA) have played in support of the safety, health and wellbeing of our people in our new organisation.
 
On 3 July, the new Chief Executive Rhys Jones and I will sign our Safety, Health and Wellbeing Policy Commitment with these five organisations, to demonstrate our collective pledge to ensure everyone goes home safe and well after any work they undertake on behalf of Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
 
Last week the Board also took part in another workshop led by Stacey Shortall, Partner at MinterEllisonRuddWatts on our wider safety, health and wellbeing responsibilities from 1 July.
 
While there’s already a strong focus on safety within the organisations that will amalgamate to form Fire and Emergency New Zealand, our new Safety, Health and Wellbeing Strategy sets out a clear path to building a safer and healthier organisation together, with a focus on managing and monitoring critical risks to physical safety, work-related health and psychological wellbeing.

Technology on the go

The Board was given a demo of the ‘Mobile Response App’ this month, which will bring incident data, maps, building plans, water supply locations, site reports, and more to a tablet device on fire appliances. They’ll receive this information from another piece of equipment known as a ‘Mobile Information Hub’ that will be installed in the cab of the fire appliance. This will provide 3G/4G/WiFi and satellite connectivity, similar to what our Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams used in Kaikoura to provide WiFi for other emergency service agencies during the first five days of the last year’s earthquake response.
 
Although it’s still a year or two away from being ready for operational use, new tools that incorporate modern technology like this are a step-change to making it easier for fire and emergency personnel to do their jobs. We look forward to seeing more progress as trials are conducted with urban and rural operational crews later this year.
 
We also trialled the new ‘Escape My House’ virtual reality experience, which is very impressive. Resource kits with this equipment are being prepared for rollout to each region within the next couple of months, and these will be a fantastic addition to the toolkit for our people out there educating the public about the dangers of fire, and the need to have an escape plan.

50 Year Medals, Jubilees, and Royal New Zealand Honours

Congratulations to Carl Beissel of Levin, John Bull of Coromandel, and William Payne of Mossburn who all received 50 Year Medals recently at ceremonies attended by Board members Angela Hauk-Willis and Te Aroha Cook. Thank you Carl, John, and William for your outstanding service and commitment to your communities.
 
This month we also hosted our New Years’ Honours recipients and their families for a lunch in Wellington after their investiture at Government House, with Minister Peter Dunne, Deputy Chair Nicki Crauford, Board member Angela Hauk-Willis, and Chief Executive & National Commander Paul McGill

Frank McGuire, John May, Warren Feek, Paul Lyall, and Maurie Doughty.

The five recipients were Maurie Doughty of Mangawhai, Warren Feek of Matamata, Paul Lyall of Wellington, John May of Wainuiomata, and Frank McGuire of Blackball who all received Queen’s Service Medals. Our very sincere congratulations for this royal recognition of your service.

Greymouth CFO Lee Swinburn, Board Chair Paul Swain

Congratulations are also due to Mangonui brigade, who celebrated their 50th Jubilee this month, Tuakau, who celebrated their 75th, and Greymouth, who celebrated their 150th.
 
I was fortunate to be able to attend the ceremony at Greymouth with Minister Dunne and it was great to enjoy some traditional West Coast hospitality with stories from both past and present members. The brigade also showed huge confidence in my driving by allowing me to drive their 1925 Dennis to Greymouth Station and I’m pleased to report we made it to the station safe and sound.
 


Until the next update, stay safe and keep up the good work.
 
 


Hon. Paul Swain
Board Chair, New Zealand Fire Service Commission

Regional Managers Rural for Fire and Emergency New Zealand Appointed

19 May 2017

Kevin O’Connor, National Rural Manager (designate), Fire and Emergency New Zealand is pleased to announce appointments to the five Regional Manager Rural positions for the new organisation, Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

“All five appointments have considerable rural fire experience and will make an excellent contribution to how we integrate 40 urban and rural fire authorities into Fire and Emergency New Zealand.”

The five Regional Manager Rural positions are new roles for Fire and Emergency New Zealand.  The Regional Managers Rural will work alongside the Fire Region Managers (urban) to ensure consistency of our fire response while we work towards a full integration over the next 2-3 years. The Regional Managers Rural will report to the National Manager Rural, and be responsible for the same Regions that are currently used in the NZ Fire Service. Principal Rural Fire Officers in will report to the Regional Managers Rural.

“These appointments are an exciting milestone for how Fire and Emergency New Zealand will effectively bring together urban and rural fire authorities, and ensure our communities continue to receive the same excellent service with no disruption to our day-to-day operations,” said Kevin O’Connor.

Regional Managers Rural, Fire and Emergency New Zealand Biographies

–ENDS–

Editor’s Note: See our previous media release on announcement of key leadership positions for Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Media Contact:

Lucy Ashby – 027 591 8837

Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bulletin – 9/5/17

Welcome to the third issue of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bulletin. Since our last issue, the Bill has been passed, our national leaders appointed, we have a new logo, our stakeholders have been updated, and our leaders are being briefed in readiness for Day One. Find out more in this issue.
As we get closer to the establishment of Fire and Emergency New Zealand on 1 July, this information sheet will provide you with detailed updates.  Please feel free to print and pass it on. 
Please also check past issues of the Board Update and the Bulletin on the Transition Project’s website. If you have any questions or comments, please email myvoice@fenzproject.co.nz.

 

Download the PDF version here

National leaders announced
Chief Executive (CE), Rhys Jones;  National Commander of Urban (NCU), Paul McGill; and National Manager of Rural (NMR), Kevin O’Connor, will start their roles on 1 July. Read more in the Board Update on our website.
 
Legislation Passes
Legislation establishing Fire and Emergency New Zealand was passed by Parliament last week. Find out more from our website.

Training info now on the website
Information about how training and capability development will be delivered is now available on our website, including an indicative delivery plan. A more detailed calendar will be available by end May. View the Training and Capability page on our website for more information.

 

Our identity

 A symbol of our new organisation

Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s new logo has been revealed after months of work with personnel and the public to develop it. Board Chair Paul Swain said the new identity is a symbol of our new organisation as we head out into the future.
Here’s what some people involved in developing the new identity have said about the process and the end result:

“I was a bit unsure about being on the Identity Panel [12 people from across the services, including union reps, responsible for guiding the design and making a final recommendation to the Board] but all views were well debated, well thought out and understood and tested. We came up with an identity I think all fire fighters would be proud to wear.” 
Craig Gold, NZFS SSO Thorndon

“We looked at three logos. There were mixed opinions in our group, not necessarily between urban and rural, more between younger and older fire fighters. People in my group were all passionate about the star. We could see elements of urban and rural in the options which is good for showing integration.”
Scott Marchant DPRFO, Auckland, regional workshop

“The Identity Panel was united in its decision. What the new identity represents is a fresh start.” 
Mike Grant, PRFO, Southland

Find out more about the new identity, including a video on the story of our logo, on our website. The new identity will come out in stages. Uniforms, badges, and fire trucks will stay the same on Day One. Find out more in the fact sheet on our website.


Questions and answers
We’ve also had a few questions about the new logo, and we’ve provided some answers for you.


Why was the Crown removed from the new logo?
“I think that the new FENZ logo is pretty special but am sad that the crown from the old NZFS Logo is missing. I feel that it should be included.”
– Transition Project Facebook page
We understand the crown is an important symbol for some people. During the identity development we heard views both for and against including the crown on the identity and the identity panel spent some time considering this issue.

Overall, from the 39 engagements with fire services personnel, including the regional workshops, 62% of personnel were not in favour of having the crown, 31% were in favour of having it, and 7% weren’t sure.
The results of the public research were clear, with people seeing no need for the crown in the identity. The public felt the combination of the name, the dark blue colour, and the silver ferns communicated authority. They said the shield shape provides a strong sense of protection.


Will the Crown be removed from rank slides or service medals?
Rank slides and service medals will stay the same for now, including those using the Crown.
If any changes are needed to include the new logo, this will be worked through with personnel, in the ‘integration phase’ which is the three years after 1 July 2017.


Why is there no ‘and’ in our name on the logo?
The new logo was designed to be simpler and easier to reproduce. Research with the public showed they didn’t need the word ‘and’ to make sense of the name.
 


Name change for Waimea Fire District
Waimea Fire District will be known as Nelson/Tasman Fire District from 1 July 2017.


This change is being made at the request of local groups. The new name will better reflect the area involved, help those who are trying to geographically place it, and signal the step into a new organisation. 


It will also better align with partner agencies – the  Civil Defence area is known as the Nelson/Tasman area, the Police area is the Nelson/Tasman/West Coast, and the current urban fire area 17 is Nelson/Tasman/Marlborough.
 

 

Planning for the next three years
Creating a unified fire service is a huge job and we have the time to get it right.  While Day One is a big milestone, it’s only the beginning for Fire and Emergency New Zealand. There are three chunks of work, with the three years from July 2017 focusing on integration.


Phase 2 Blueprint
The integration phase is critical because this is when the foundations for unification are set. A plan for integration, the Phase 2 Blueprint, is almost finalised and will be released in late May/early June.


Six strategic priorities
The Phase 2 Blueprint sets out six main strategic priorities to be delivered by June 2020. Within the strategic priorities are around 70 projects of work. The strategic priorities are underpinned by three enabling themes: building capability in our leaders and personnel; improving our infrastructure including equipment and IT; and project and change management.


Given the amount of work to be done in the next three years, the Transition Project will refocus, into an Integration Project.

IT systems on Day One

On 1 July everyone will have a new email and access to the new Fire and Emergency New Zealand website and intranet. Your new email will follow this format: kelly.person@fireandemergency.nz


A new HR Kiosk will also be available to all Fire and Emergency NZ employees and volunteers. This is where payslips, leave balances and emergency contact details will be kept.


Operational IT systems
There will only be minor changes to Operational IT systems from 1 July 2017. In most cases please continue using what you use now.

SMS
The Station Management System or SMS will be the central point for all incident reporting for rural and urban. It is being improved to make it easier to use; reducing the number of incident types to choose from, and adding a new vegetation fire module.


Training will be available on SMS prior to 1 July for those who need to use it and haven’t in the past. More information will be available soon.


Corporate IT Systems
We’ll be using the existing NZFS IT systems for corporate functions like HR, Finance, Contracts and Procurement. This minimises the impact on the majority of people who use these systems and means we have systems ready to go on Day One.  For new users of corporate IT systems, training will be available.


Learning Station
All relevant training records for rural personnel will be copied across to Learning Station (the NZFS Learning Management System) for rural personnel.


New IT tools for new or transferred employees
Employees transferring to Fire and Emergency NZ will receive a new laptop with docking station, two-screen setup and Skype for Business headset (for use with Skype over your computer).


Access to FENZ networks, email, and any migrated documents will be available from Day One.


Information will be provided to help you to get access to the IT systems you need.


Mobile phones will also be supplied to people with a business need. This automatically includes PRFOs, Deputy PRFOs and Volunteer Support Officers.


Training
Opportunities to learn about the new or updated systems will be available to:
· All users of new systems
· New users of existing systems
· Existing users of systems that have been updated.


Most of the training will be delivered as e-learning modules before or after 1 July (depending on when the IT system is ready). All users will be informed in June about what training they will receive and when.

Employees transfers and vacancies

Letters of offer have now been sent to Rural Fire Authority (RFA) employees working solely on rural fire duties. If you are expecting an offer, and haven’t received one, please email Karen.Keeley@fenzproject.co.nz or Bridget.McBean@fenzproject.co.nz


Territorial Authority (TA) employees working partly on fire duties who do not meet the definition to transfer to Fire and Emergency New Zealand, have been invited to submit an ‘Expression of Interest’ (EoI) for vacancies in their district. Vacancies in areas where there are no partly fire TA employees are going straight out to wider advertising. These vacancies can be found on SEEK currently.


Letters for NZFS/NRFA employees transitioning to Fire and Emergency New Zealand will be sent out from the end of May.



An update on the volunteer relationship

The relationship that volunteers will have with Fire and Emergency New Zealand is set in legislation. 


Volunteers will become ‘personnel’ on 1 July 2017, and therefore will be part of Fire and Emergency New Zealand from that date. But their main relationship will be continue to be with their stations, volunteer fire brigades, or Volunteer Rural Fire Forces (VRFF).


 It is intended that the relationship is similar to that which the new organisation has with other personnel (employees and contractors), although crucially the relationship with volunteers will be one of ‘engagement’ rather than employment. 


As such, a decision has been made to change the name of this arrangement from a ‘Volunteer Agreement’ (which is how we have referred to it to-date) to a ‘Volunteer Engagement’ to reflect this intent.
A paper outlining the relationship volunteers will have with Fire and Emergency New Zealand will be presented to the Board on 16 May 2017. 


Following this, we expect to be sending out Volunteer Engagement letters to rural volunteers from mid-May and to urban volunteers from the end of May. These do not need to be signed.


Leaders’ Day One Preparation Briefing Sessions

Five Leaders’ Day One Preparation briefing sessions took place across the regions last week. The sessions were designed to equip and support our leaders and operational officers to share key transition information with their teams through May and June.


From next week onwards, there will be a series of combined urban and rural information sessions taking place around the country down to individual station/brigade/rural fire force level.


Dates and locations for these sessions will be emailed to people as they are confirmed. We will also post updates on our Facebook page, and on our Leaders Resources website page.


Areas that will be covered at these sessions include:
· The objectives of the change and next steps post-Day One
· The impact of policy and structure changes on roles
· Practical information about changes on Day One that people need to know
· Opportunities to discuss any team-specific changes, risks and support requirements


We encourage all our operational officers to participate in these sessions and help inform their teams about the transition to Fire and Emergency New Zealand.


Commemorating Day One


National event

1 July 2017 represents an exciting and historic change for New Zealand’s fire and emergency services. Day One will be celebrated with a national event and parade in Ashburton.


A locally organised parade will include up to 50 vehicles, including current rural and urban fire appliances and vintage vehicles from the local museum. It will end at the showgrounds with a public display of vehicles and photos, and an address from the Minister.


This location was chosen as it is one area where the strong relationship between rural and urban fire services is well established.


Local community events

Stations and Brigades are encouraged to mark the occasion with colleagues, families, employers, and community. This could be a morning tea, a BBQ, or some other community event.


To support you in this, we will provide some funding, based on the number of people in your station or brigade, and suggestions and guidance to assist in your planning. More details in the next Bulletin.


We know some of you are already planning events and would love to hear about your plans. You’re welcome to email us your ideas or post your event on our Facebook page and inspire others. 

Board Update – 5/5/17

Board Update – 5 May 2017

 

Fire and Emergency New Zealand leadership positions announced

This is a special edition of Board Update to inform you about the appointments of three key leadership positions for Fire and Emergency New Zealand, to be established on 1 July.

The Board is delighted to appoint Rhys Jones as Chief Executive of Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Paul McGill as the National Commander of Urban Fire and Emergency operations and Kevin O’Connor as the National Manager of Rural Fire and Emergency operations.

 

Appointments from 1 July 2017: Paul McGill (National Commander Urban), Rhys Jones (Chief Executive) and Kevin O’Connor (National Manager Rural)

Rhys Jones, as a former Chief of the Defence Force, led a large, complex organisation through a period of change. He is an experienced leader with a deep understanding of both career and volunteer forces, and brings a services background to the job. His experience, skills and character make him an ideal appointment.

Most of you know Paul McGill, the current Chief Executive and National Commander of the New Zealand Fire Service, and Kevin O’Connor, the current National Rural Fire Officer leading the National Rural Fire Authority (NRFA).

Paul is an experienced firefighter, officer and leader with 37 years’ service in the New Zealand Fire Service – 15 of those on the frontline before he moved into several senior roles.  He is currently Chief Executive and National Commander of the New Zealand Fire Service.

Kevin is currently National Rural Fire Officer leading the National Rural Fire Authority (NRFA). He has had a long involvement in rural fire throughout his career in the Department of Conservation and the NRFA since 2014.

All three appointments are of the highest calibre.

These appointments, in addition to the skills of other members of the senior leadership team, mean we have a great mix of leadership, management and operational experience to take us through the formation and integration of Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

We are on track to bring together 40 rural and urban fire organisations on 1 July to create a world-leading, integrated, well co-ordinated and funded fire and emergency service in New Zealand.

Beyond Day One, there is a lot more work to do over the next three years to fully integrate our operations by 2020.

As Chief Executive, Rhys will lead this integration work, while Paul, as National Commander Urban, and Kevin, as National Manager Rural, will have operational responsibility for Fire and Emergency New Zealand so that fire trucks continue to roll out the door in response to calls for help.

Rhys has been appointed for a three-year term which recognises that the integration phase is expected to take that period of time. Paul and Kevin have been appointed for two-year terms because operational integration is expected to be completed in two years.

All three will take up their new roles on 1 July 2017.  In the interim, Paul and Kevin will continue in their current roles.

Thanks to all our senior leaders and our people around the country for their ongoing commitment to a successful transition to Fire and Emergency New Zealand. The Board looks forward to working with Rhys and his team during this exciting time.

Background information

 

About Rhys Jones

Lieutenant General (Retired) Rhys Jones served in the Army for 35 years, retiring in 2014 having held command at all senior levels, culminating as the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF).  Between 2007 and 2009 he was the Commander of the Headquarters Joint Forces, where he directed military operations in Afghanistan, East Timor and the Solomon Islands as well as joint training and humanitarian operations in the Pacific. During his tenure as the CDF the Defence Force responded to the Christchurch earthquake, the largest civil assistance operation ever conducted by the New Zealand Defence Force. 

On retiring from the military Rhys Jones was the Executive Director of the National Military Heritage Charitable Trust, responsible for coordinating the building of Sir Peter Jackson’s Great War Exhibition.  From 2015 to early 2016 he was a member of the Flag Consideration Panel for the Flag Change Referendum and simultaneously served on the French-New Zealand team assisting the creation of the French Memorial at Pukeahu Memorial Park.  Currently, as well as serving as a Trustee on the National Military Heritage Charitable Trust, Rhys also is a consulting partner with Tregaskis Brown, focusing on strategic planning, governance and program management.  He is the Chairman of the Wahine 2018 Charitable Trust and a panel member of the Strategic Risk and Resilience Panel which offers advice to senior government officials on the big risk issues facing the country. 

Rhys was awarded the Military order of Saint George by the King of Tonga in 2011, the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2014 and the Commander of the Legion of Honour by the French Government in 2017.

About Paul McGill

Paul McGill is an experienced firefighter, officer and leader with 37 years’ service in the New Zealand Fire Service. He is currently Chief Executive and National Commander of the New Zealand Fire Service, appointed for a four-month term in March this year.

Paul joined the NZFS in Auckland as a recruit in 1980 and served 15-years there as a frontline operational firefighter and officer, two of these years as a fulltime training instructor.

He was promoted to his first senior officer role in 1995 as Otago Assistant Area Manager based in Dunedin and in 1997 was appointed Fire Region Manager/Commander for the Auckland Fire Region, a position he held for eight years.

In 2005 he moved to the NZFS National Headquarters in Wellington to take up the national Director of Operations and Training role and was appointed Deputy National Commander in 2012.

As Deputy National Commander he was a member of the NZFS Strategic Leadership Team and responsible for:

  • Leading the Operational Leadership Team including the five Fire Region Managers, National Operations Manager and National Risk Reduction Manager.
  • National risk reduction programmes, including fire engineering.
  • National operational policy, procedures, standards and advice.
  • Management of national fleet, property and equipment.

Paul’s qualifications include:

  • MA in Management (Coventry University)
  • Member of City and Guilds of London Institute, for Fire Service Management.
  • Fellow (FIFireE) of the Institution of Fire Engineers.
  • Graduate of the Brigade Command Course at the Fire Service College in the UK.


About Kevin O’Connor

Kevin started work with the NZ Fire Service in September 2014, as the National Rural Fire Officer leading the National Rural Fire Authority (NRFA). In his time in this role, and in addition to his NRFA leadership, he has been involved with both the fire services review and the Fire and Emergency NZ (FENZ) transition work.

Kevin started his career as a New Zealand Forest Service Ranger Trainee and then attended Lincoln University, studying Parks and Recreation. Kevin then worked as a ranger with the Forest Service in a variety of locations, before joining the Department of Conservation (DOC) when it was created in 1987.

His first role in DOC was as a District Conservator based in Taupo and he then went on to work in various operational and technical leadership roles at a number of locations. This included 6 years as DOC’s Southland Conservator, followed by 7 years as a Deputy Director General (DDG) based in Wellington, leading the Science and Technical Group. Subsequently he took on the role of DDG Conservation Services in 2012, involving oversight and responsibility for DOC’s operational work.

Kevin is an experienced senior leader at both the New Zealand Fire Service and DOC, with considerable operational and change management expertise. 

 


 

Fire and Emergency New Zealand legislation passed

Fire and Emergency NZ – Together we stand!

It was great to see Parliament pass the legislation establishing Fire and Emergency New Zealand yesterday.  This is a major milestone for us.  All that remains is for the Governor General to give formal approval, known as ‘Royal Assent’, before the law can take effect. That step is expected to happen next week.

Speaking in Parliament, the Minister of Internal Affairs Peter Dunne said the legislation equips our firefighters to deliver for the future.  The Minister acknowledged the passion, commitment and desire for change he has seen up and down the country and saluted the men and women of New Zealand’s urban and rural fire services.

I want to reinforce the Minister’s thanks to everyone involved in getting us to this milestone.

 

Until the next update, stay safe and keep up the good work.

 


Hon. Paul Swain
Board Chair, New Zealand Fire Service Commission

 

Identity

Identity and branding

The identity for Fire and Emergency New Zealand was shared for the first time at the National Forum, held in Wellington on April 27th. Watch the story of how the new identity was created and see pictures and background here.

Heather Ware, from Cato Brand Partners, introducing the process to achieve the new identity at the National Forum in Wellington on 27 April

Board Update – 28/4/17

Board Update – April 2017

Please print and circulate

 

Thank you to everyone involved in the response to Cyclone Cook, especially in the hardest hit areas in the Bay of Plenty.  Fortunately, across much of the rest of the country the impact was not as testing as we had anticipated from the weather forecasts.  This again demonstrated our ability to take the lead and pre-plan for a proactive response to these type of events.

Once more, we are seeing New Zealanders relying on our emergency response role as well as our firefighting role. The broad range of services we provide will be formally recognised on 1 July when Fire and Emergency New Zealand is established.

Yesterday we brought together 180 people who work within and alongside our fire and emergency services at a National Forum in Wellington to update them on progress towards 1 July.

Presentations covered readiness for Day One of Fire and Emergency New Zealand in relation to people, organisation and policy, planning for integration post-1 July, and the new identity.

The presentations are available on the website fenzproject.co.nz/events.  Over the next month and a half, rural and urban leaders will be bringing people up to speed at workshops in your area.

We’ve come a long way since a similar forum held in July last year.  While there is still much to do, we are putting firm foundations in place for a fire and emergency service that delivers for communities, and the firefighters who serve them.

Paul Swain presenting the new look at the National Forum on April 27th.

This month’s update covers:

– Fire and Emergency New Zealand visual identity
– Command and control
– Safety, Health and Wellbeing update
– 50 Year Medals


The new identity

We are delighted to share the new look for Fire and Emergency New Zealand with you.  This has been developed through an inclusive process over several months of consultation with people from across the fire services sector and research with the public.

 

The Board approved this identity at our April meeting, after listening to those involved and receiving a unanimous recommendation from members of the 12-person ‘Identity Panel’, made up of representatives from urban and rural firefighters (career and volunteer), unions and associations and the communications team.

We have followed the identity design process closely and are excited with the result, which is a fresh new look that symbolises the coming together of rural and urban in a new organisation while retaining the traditions of the past.

The new logo uses the Battenburg pattern of high-visibility markings on the side of emergency vehicles. The red and yellow ‘Battenburg’ is internationally recognised as symbolising fire, and in our case it also symbolises the coming together of urban (red) and rural (yellow) fire services.

Whakaratonga iwi means ‘serving our people’.  The gold SERVIMUS star stands for the values of Service, Efficiency, Resourcefulness, Valour, Integrity, Mobility, Unity and Strength. The symbols of helmet and crossed pulaski tool and axe reflect our tradition.  These elements, within the protecting shape of the silver fern, put our tradition of serving our communities firmly at the heart of our identity for the future.

The research shows that the shield shape (as used on the arm badge) is seen by the public as a symbol of authority and reassurance.

All fire services personnel – urban, rural, career and volunteer –will be able to unite under this banner from 1 July. You’ll see it around a lot over the next couple of months.

However, this does not mean uniforms and fleet livery will all change on 1 July. The question of uniforms for example, will require extensive discussion and consultation in the integration phase, so any changes will be gradually introduced.

You can find more about the identity on the website fenzproject.co.nz

 

Command and control

The Board wants to thank all parties involved in developing and agreeing the Command and Control policy for Day One. 

Representatives from associations and unions, the operational leadership team, senior managers and frontline staff have worked together in the best interests of all to collectively arrive at a workable policy for July 1.

The Board is pleased to hear that agreement has been reached on a policy that provides for clarity and safety on the incident ground on Day One, and forms a base for building a robust command and control approach in the future.

In most circumstances, there will be little difference when the new policy takes effect on 1 July.  Before then, you will get more information about how the policy will work in practice and will have the chance to talk about this with your leaders over coming weeks.  

 

Safety, health and wellbeing

Safety, health and wellbeing is the first major item on all our Board agendas.

We often have speakers giving us their point of view on this priority area.

This month we heard a rural perspective on safety, health and wellbeing from Principal Rural Fire Officers Mike Grant (Southern) and Bryan Cartelle (Auckland). As always we were interested in how things are working now, and what our focus should be in this area for Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

While current practice in this area understandably varies across 38 different rural fire organisations, it was reassuring to hear that both Mike and Bryan agree with the planned approach to supporting our people in Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

The Board has approved the new safety, health and wellbeing direction, set out in a strategy document, to be in place from 1 July.

There’s an overview in the Day One Readiness presentation on the website and you’ll get more information in workshops the coming weeks.  

This vital piece of work will help us meet our duty of care, continuing the legacy of making sure both urban and rural firefighters return safely at the end of the day.  The strategy was developed with the help of those doing frontline work every day and the unions and associations who represent them.

50 Year Medal

Congratulations to Station Officer Frank Simpson of Newlands, who received a 50 Year Medal for his long service at a ceremony on Saturday 1 April. Thank you Frank for your outstanding commitment to the New Zealand Fire Service and your community.

 

 

Until the next update, stay safe and keep up the good work.

 


Hon. Paul Swain
Board Chair, New Zealand Fire Service Commission

 

Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bulletin – 19/04/17

Welcome to the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bulletin.  As we get closer to the establishment of Fire and Emergency New Zealand on 1 July, this information sheet will provide you with detailed updates. Please feel free to print and pass it on.  Please also check past issues of the Board Update and the Bulletin on the Transition Project’s website. If you have any questions or comments, please email myvoice@fenzproject.co.nz.

 

 

Answering your questions


With over 14,000 people moving into the new organisation of Fire and Emergency New Zealand on 1 July 2017, there have been many questions about what to expect.  In addition to the hundreds of questions asked at meetings, there have been over 250 questions directed to myvoice@fenzproject.co.nz, through the Transition Project’s website, and Facebook page. A number cover similar topics and we regularly publish answers to these FAQs on the website.

The top five topics people are currently asking about are:

· Volunteer Brigades and Voluntary Rural Fire Forces

· Training and capability development

· Assets

· Brand and identity

· Funding and finance.

Here’s some recent questions and answers on these and other topics.  For more, check out fenzproject.co.nz/faq

 

Volunteer Brigades and Voluntary Rural Fire Forces


Will volunteers keep their connection with their Brigade or Voluntary Rural Fire Force (VRFF)?

Yes. It’s important that the strong relationships built up over time between communities and their local Brigade or VRFF are maintained. In establishing Fire and Emergency New Zealand, the Board wishes to build on what already works well in communities around New Zealand.

So, while volunteers will become Fire and Emergency New Zealand personnel from 1 July 2017, they will still come together as the local Brigade or VRFF in much the same way as they do now. Local leadership roles will continue in Brigades, VRFFs, and stations.

What will the new dispute resolution scheme look like for volunteers?

From 1 July 2017, an interim Dispute Resolution Process will be available to volunteers.

An additional process (the Volunteer Issue Process) will be available to volunteers from Day One. This is intended to be a first step to resolve, where possible, early and local resolution of any issues as they arise.

Once Fire and Emergency New Zealand is up and running, a formal dispute resolution scheme will then be established. The Transition Project team is working with stakeholders to develop proposals for the new scheme, and Fire and Emergency New Zealand is required to formally consult with people affected by the scheme before it is implemented. This consultation will happen after 1 July 2017.

How do we rotate volunteers for long duration jobs, such as rural fires, bearing in mind employers’ needs and wages?

Rotation of volunteers for long duration jobs will continue as it currently does, at least for the first year. You will be included in any discussions around any proposed changes.

Will we still be known as [name] Volunteer Fire Brigade or Volunteer Rural Fire Force?

You will still be known by your existing name — this will not change on Day One.

 

Training and capability development


How are you making sure that all Fire and Emergency New Zealand personnel have the training and skills they need to do their job from Day One?

Operational readiness is the focus for any skills and knowledge required for Day One. If there are any changes to functions and powers for operational personnel, then they can expect to receive information and/or training on these changes before 30 June 2017. Learning opportunities up to Day One will include:

· Fire and Emergency New Zealand Inspector Powers for all operational personnel, and in-depth learning for the personnel receiving the powers

· The Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act, and what it means for all personnel

· The approach to supporting volunteers, including the Volunteer Issue process

· The important policies, such as Day One Command and Control

· The business systems and processes that will change on Day One, for the personnel who use them.

This is only a selection of what’s coming, before and after Day One. A calendar will be available on www.fenzproject.co.nz in late April providing dates and locations for upcoming learning opportunities for identified personnel.

How will training work when Fire and Emergency New Zealand is up and running?

The current training practices across urban and rural won’t change on Day One, and all prior learning and qualifications will be recognised. During the three year integration phase (2017-2020) Fire and Emergency New Zealand will progress a long term capability development approach for operational personnel. This will include assessing the standards and quality of training.

Where is training heading regarding technical rescues?

This is something that will be looked at in the integration phase (2017-2020) as the Transition Project team is focused on delivering new and essential training for 1 July 2017.  All current urban and rural operations training will continue on Day One.

 

Assets


What’s the arrangement for my Brigade or Voluntary Rural Fire Forces to continue using our current response assets?

Any response assets currently used will continue to be available from 1 July. Legal arrangements will be in place to ensure that response assets remain available for VRFFs and Volunteer Brigades to continue to carry out their duties.

Will assets that have been purchased through community fundraising stay with the community?

Yes, assets will continue to be used in the community/region that brought or fundraised for them, using the philosophy that the assets obtained for a community should be retained by the community.

 

Brand and identity


Will there be new uniforms, new logo and new livery to go with the new name? What colour will the trucks be?

Fire and Emergency New Zealand is a new organisation, and needs its own logo. The new logo will be shared shortly, once a decision has been made by the Board. However, uniforms and fleet livery will not change on Day One. This is because the question of uniforms is one that will require extensive discussions and consultation.

To develop the new logo, the Transition Project team has been engaging with over 160 fire personnel (and the public) to hear what our personnel need, want and, most of all, value about their organisation. Once the identity changes have been decided by the Board, there will be a gradual transition to the new look from Day One onwards. When uniforms, livery, or trucks, need replacing this is when any changes (if required) will be made.

 

Funding and finance


Can volunteers or their employers be considered for reduced insurance levies?

The Board is discussing a number of options to provide an enhanced range of support for volunteers across a number of areas. However, levy exemptions can only be set under regulations made by the Government. The Department of Internal Affairs consulted publicly last year on levy exemptions.  The proposals did not include an exemption or partial exemption for volunteers; rather they focused on changes to the types of property currently exempt from the levy.

We understand from research that volunteers are motivated by a variety of factors and there are differing opinions about cash payments and insurance subsidies.

In terms of the range of support for volunteers, the Transition Project team is working with urban and rural representatives on a volunteer strategy to improve support for volunteers in the new organisation.

Will we need to change names on bank accounts?

Not at this stage.

Will rural firefighters be paid?

On 1 July 2017, all rural volunteers will become Fire and Emergency New Zealand personnel on the same payment arrangements they are currently on, with no change to any current payments.

What happens to substantial amounts of money some Brigades or VRFFs have invested? Will the new Fire and Emergency New Zealand management be able to access the money or expect the Brigade to use it for what has historically been operational expenses?

The current arrangements will continue. The existing bank account is yours (belongs to the brigade) and that will continue.

 

Local Advisory Committee Boundaries


How will Fire and Emergency New Zealand consult with the public on boundaries when we have so many already ie. Police, Ambulance etc?

While the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bill requires the Board to consider the boundaries of other relevant services when setting boundaries for Local Advisory Committees, this is just one consideration. The Board also has to consider the efficiency and effectiveness of fire and emergency services in the local area, and the local risk profile.

The Board must endeavour to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the committees and the ability of the committees to represent relevant communities.

The Transition Project team is working on options for Local Advisory Committee boundaries for the Board to consider for the required consultation. The consultation will take place sometime after Day One. This is being informed by the Project team’s engagement with local representatives (including other emergency services) on working groups in Greater Auckland and Mid-South Canterbury.

The Department of Internal Affairs has consulted on regulations for Local Advisory Committees, and proposes that regulations will be made for 1 July 2018. The Board will need to comply with any relevant requirements of these regulations when establishing and running the local advisory committees.

 

Personnel transfer


What is the process for employees and volunteers transferring to Fire and Emergency New Zealand?

NZFS/NRFA EMPLOYEES: New Zealand Fire Service (NZFS) and National Rural Fire Authority (NRFA) employees will become employees of Fire and Emergency New Zealand, and their existing employment terms and conditions will remain unchanged on 1 July. Letters of confirmation will be sent to all NZFS/NRFA employees towards the end of May.

RURAL FIRE AUTHORITY EMPLOYEES WORKING SOLELY ON FIRE (FULL-TIME OR PART-TIME): RFA personnel working solely on rural fire duties (whether full-time or part-time) will be consulted with by their employer (Territorial Authority or Enlarged Rural Fire District) on their proposed transfer to Fire and Emergency New Zealand, and then pending the outcome of consultation, offered a role with Fire and Emergency New Zealand on equivalent terms and conditions of employment.

TAs and ERFDs have been asked to undertake this process in early April. Once consultation is completed, transferring RFA personnel will receive a letter of offer from Fire and Emergency New Zealand and it is now envisaged that these will be sent out in late April.

RURAL FIRE AUTHORITY EMPLOYEES WORKING PARTLY ON FIRE: RFA employees currently employed to work partly on fire duties will, as part of consultation, have a discussion with their employer on the impact of the proposed changes on their role and the employment options available to them. This will include the ability to apply for any of the vacant new roles that will be created in Fire and Emergency New Zealand and which will be advertised in late April.

VOLUNTEERS: Urban and rural volunteers will become Fire and Emergency New Zealand personnel on 1 July and will have a Volunteer Agreement towards the end of May. Volunteers will continue to maintain the same relationship they currently have with their brigade or rural fire force.

Answer to more questions about jobs, roles, and entitlements are on the website.

Has the delay in Royal Assent had any impact on this process?

Because the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bill is still before Parliament, technically we can only make conditional offers at this point. Be assured that the intent is still to have all our people legally transferred into Fire and Emergency New Zealand by 1 July 2017. The latest information is that the Bill is on track to be passed in May.

 

The future of Fire and Emergency New Zealand


What kind of challenges lie ahead for officers and their crews as we transition into Fire and Emergency New Zealand?

We are currently finalising the ‘Phase Two Blueprint’ which is the plan for how we tackle the challenges and opportunities ahead over the next few years.

Our ultimate goal is a unified organisation. As the Minister and the Board Chair have said, we need to take our time to get it right. This means focusing on addressing the key themes identified in the review: increasing effectiveness of service delivery, better support of volunteers, addressing under investment in rural services, retaining community involvement, and involving our people and representatives from the wider sector in designing the new organisation.

Our first step is bringing together some 14,000 people and 40 organisations under one umbrella on Day One. Work is underway on guidance to make sure command and control arrangements at incidents are clear on Day One, and you can expect to see those within the next month.  While we’re just starting work on the next stages, this may offer greater opportunities for all firefighters to work across a wider range of specialities depending on the risks and needs of the community and greater flexibility for brigades and fire forces about the types of incidents they attend, and what they are required to train for.