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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 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.
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: email@example.com
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.
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.
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.
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
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.