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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.

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

 

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.

 

Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bulletin – 31/03/17

Welcome to the first issue of 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 more detail on transition topics mentioned in the Board Update (available on our website). Please feel free to print and pass it on.  If you have any questions or comments, please email myvoice@fenzproject.co.nz. 

On track for 1 July


Over 14,000 people and 40 organisations will come together in Fire and Emergency New Zealand  from 1 July 2017. Establishing the new organisation is a large task and will take a number of years to achieve. It is important we take the time to do it properly and to keep working with our people and the sector.

We have divided the work into three key phases:

  • Amalgamation of urban and rural fire (1 July 2017);
  • Integration into a single organisation (1 July 2017 – 1 July 2020); and
  • Unification (from 2020 onwards).


Day One is just the beginning, and in some cases we are putting interim arrangements in place to ensure operations continue smoothly while we work together on delivering a flexible, modern and efficient fire and emergency service.

Fire boundaries will remain on Day One


To maintain operational stability on Day One, the Board has decided to continue using existing fire district boundaries (as an interim measure) from 1 July. The existing legal protection for firefighters will also continue.  Re-organising the boundaries is a big job and this will be undertaken in the three-year integration period, after 1 July.
 

Command and Control policy under development


Guidelines and delegations to make sure command and control arrangements are clear on 1 July will be announced in May. A range of groups are contributing to this work. To date, discussions have included the NZFS Operational Leadership Team; Principal Rural Fire Officers; ‘Leading Through Change’ workshop attendees; unions and associations. Unified command and control arrangements for Fire and Emergency New Zealand will be developed over the next three years.
 

First national summary of rural response assets


A first ever stocktake of rural response assets has finished with a 100% response rate. The stocktake provides a never-seen before nationwide view of assets (over $1000). It will help ensure future response asset upgrades go to the communities with the greatest risk and need. A summary of the results is now available. Please see the attached page or view the summary on our website under Updates > Rural Response Assets.
This information was gathered by the Transition team between October and December last year through PRFOs and their teams. The team are working with PRFOs on getting access or transfer agreements signed by councils/Rural Fire Authorities.
 

First comprehensive picture of rural fire costs available


An independent assessment of how much it currently costs to run rural fire services including all ERFDs and RFAs plus the NRFA, has been completed for the first time. The assessment is critical for informing the Fire and Emergency New Zealand budget and the levy rate for 2018/19 and onwards. The assessment puts the current operational cost at $29.3 million per year. This does not include DOC or NZDF fire services. Read the Costs of Rural Fire Servicing report on our website under ‘Toolkit > Key Documents’.

Personnel transfer


The aim is to bring all 14,000 people into Fire and Emergency New Zealand as smoothly as possible. Everyone – career, volunteer, rural and urban – will be sent a letter to advise how the process will work for them.

NZFS/NRFA employees
You will be provided with a letter advising that your terms and conditions of employment will remain the same, other than the change in name to Fire and Emergency New Zealand. A letter will be sent out to all NZFS/NRFA employees in late May.

Rural Fire Authority employees working solely on fire
(part-time or fulltime)
Your current employer (a Territorial Authority or Enlarged Rural Fire District), is required to consult with you about the proposed change to your employment. They have been asked to begin this process now.
Once consultation is completed, you can expect to receive a letter of offer from Fire and Emergency New Zealand. This will be from mid-April onwards.

Rural Fire Authority employees working partly on fire
Your current employer will discuss the proposed changes to your role with you, including any employment options available to you. This will include the ability to apply for any of the vacant new roles that will be created in Fire and Emergency New Zealand. The vacancies will be advertised in mid/late April. Your letter outlining your options will come from your current employer.

Urban and rural volunteers
Volunteers will maintain the same relationship they currently have with their brigade or rural fire force. You will also become Fire and Emergency New Zealand personnel on 1 July. You will receive a letter along with a new Volunteer Agreement to sign.

Volunteers will receive a Volunteer Agreement and accompanying letter at the same time as transferring RFA employees and transitioning NZFS and NRFA employees receive their letters (this is taking place from mid-April through to late May).

Training continues with unit standards


We’ve had some questions on Facebook about whether unit standards will continue to be part of training in the future. The training delivery from both an urban and rural perspective will remain unchanged for 1 July. We are looking at modules of learning that will include both unit standards and skills based training. Any future changes in training will be designed with the relevant sector.

Local Advisory Committees


Local Advisory Committees (LACs) will be appointed by the Board to provide valuable advice on local community risks and needs. LACs will not be involved in governance, management or operations.  They are expected to start in mid-2018 after the Board has held consultation on their boundaries.
 
The first pilot has been running successfully in Greater Auckland. Mid-South Canterbury is the second location for piloting LACs starting in April. The area was in part chosen as it provides a different geographic and risk environment to the first pilot location. A third pilot in Hawke’s Bay will be established later this year. The pilot groups are not the Local Advisory Committees of the future. Rather, they are a group of community members with insight into setting up and running community based forums. The pilots will test the design of LAC processes and support mechanisms.

Volunteer working group helps design improved support


Volunteers are a crucial part of fire services and their communities. We want to show that same dedication and commitment under Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
 
The Volunteer Working Group is made up of 46 rural and urban representatives from across the country. Their work includes identifying how volunteers, their families and their employers, can be better supported.
 
It is helping ensure the volunteer voice is heard in shaping the new organisation and the relationship it has with volunteers, including the Volunteer Strategy and accompanying support initiatives, training and resourcing.
 
Day One support initiatives for volunteers are expected to be confirmed in May and will start to be delivered from 1 July 2017. Further support initiatives will be delivered over the next three years.

The new identity


The new identity for Fire and Emergency New Zealand is something people feel passionately about.

The identity team is meeting with 11 groups of our people in April to get feedback on three design drafts. You may see or hear about these designs. Please be aware they are still a work in progress. The team is testing them with both our people and the public, and a final decision will be made by the Board. We expect to share the final identity in May.

If you’d like to understand how the identity has been developed to this point, please read on. There’s a four step process to create the new identity for Fire and Emergency New Zealand:

  • December 16 – Research
  • Jan-Feb 2017 – Engage
  • March 2017 – Design
  • April 2017 – Test/Approval by the Board

The identity work is guided by three clear principles:

  • The new identity must reflect unification of all fire services, while respecting the past and the values important to people
  • The new identity must be clear for the public so there is no confusion about who we are or what we do
  • A sensible phased approach must be used when updating the new identity – ‘value for money’ is important.

The team spent two months researching current fire services’ branding best practice here and overseas, and holding interviews and workshops with over 160 people from across the fire services sector to determine the values important to them. The groups met in Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin in January/February and included representatives from unions and associations, career, volunteer, urban and rural personnel and support staff.

Many people have shared similar thoughts about the values they think are important; service to the community, protecting, trusted and responsive.

Research with the public shows that New Zealanders are very complimentary about urban and rural fire services. Many see fire services personnel as heroes in the community who go beyond the call of duty to save others’ lives. The identity must reinforce this.

Design testing in April


In March the design phase started, and an Identity Evaluation Panel was formed to review draft designs produced by the designers, Cato Brand Partners. Members of the 12-person panel include representatives from urban and rural firefighters (career and volunteer), the NZPFU, UFBA, NZFRCAs, and the NZFS corporate communications team.

Three designs were presented to the evaluation panel and will now be workshopped with groups from across urban and rural. The designs will also be tested with the public through confidential focus groups.

Once approved, the new identity will be applied in stages. Uniforms, badges, and fire trucks will stay as they are on Day One.
A fact sheet on the identity work is on our website under Toolkit.

Rural computer data move starts April


Fire and Emergency New Zealand will be using current NZFS computer systems from Day One for corporate services such as payroll, paying invoices, and maintaining training records. These computer systems are already available, centralised, and able to process large amounts of data. In April a specialist team from the Transition team will start working with Principal Rural Fire Officers to copy critical data from RFA IT systems to the new Fire and Emergency New Zealand systems. A special team within the Transition team will start this work with Principal Rural Fire Officers in April. If you have any questions please contact Cameron Russo on mobile 021301402, or email at cameron.russo@fenzproject.co.nz

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Board Update – 27/03/17

March 2017
 
Changing weather patterns continue to keep us on our toes. Last month began with huge vegetation fires in hot and dry conditions. This month the balance tipped the other way, with record amounts of rain recorded in the upper North Island.

Our thanks to all personnel who have been helping with evacuations, flooded vehicles and property, and clearing debris from the road – especially those of you whose family and belongings were also affected by these floods. 

As with the Port Hills fires, the flood response was a team effort. In one case, the Hunua Volunteer Rural Fire Force ferried over 200 children out of a flooded camp by tractor, while Coastguard used their boat to rescue several people. The entire rescue operation was overseen by a NZFS career crew from Papakura. The Hunua School then opened its doors to receive the evacuated parents and children, who were provided with food and drink by the local community and a NZFS Operational Support Unit, and blankets from Red Cross.

That’s just one example – elsewhere St John, Civil Defence, Police, and Defence also stepped up to serve their communities, in partnership with urban and rural firefighters. NZFS Communications Centre staff had a key role to play in coordinating all this action. I’m told they received 582 emergency 111 calls on 12 March alone, answering one call every 24 seconds at peak.

All of which goes to show that while we can’t control the weather, there’s a lot we can do by working together effectively, which is one of the aims of our new organisation Fire and Emergency New Zealand, to be established on 1 July.

This month’s update covers:

  • Progress towards 1 July
  • Transferring to the new organisation
  • Recent planning meetings with our people
  • National Forum: 27 April
  • Nationwide urban and rural fire meetings in May/June
  • Fire Risk Management
  • 50 Year Medals

Progress towards 1 July.

Recently we released a summary of progress towards 1 July or ‘Day One’ of Fire and Emergency New Zealand, see link here. This two-page update covers new information and recent announcements. Please read and print it out to share with your colleagues.

Transferring to the new organisation.

Our focus for 1 July is to make sure that existing services to our communities continue without disruption on ‘Day One’.

With that in mind, the transfer process for New Zealand Fire Service / National Rural Fire Authority employees, and employees of Rural Fire Authorities will be as follows:

NZFS/NRFA employees’ existing terms and conditions will remain unchanged when they become employees of Fire and Emergency New Zealand on 1 July. Letters of confirmation will be sent to all NZFS/NRFA employees in late May.

RFA employees face a different process to become employees of Fire and Emergency New Zealand.  Firstly, their current employer, whether this is a Territorial Authority (TA) or Enlarged Rural Fire District (ERFD) is required to consult them about the proposed change to their employment. We have asked TAs and ERFDs to begin this process now.
 
Once consultation is completed, RFA employees who are currently employed to work solely (whether full or part-time) on fire duties, will from mid-April onwards, receive a letter of offer from Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
 
RFA employees who are 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 that will be advertised in mid/late April.

Urban and rural volunteers will become Fire and Emergency New Zealand personnel on 1 July. Volunteers will continue to maintain the same relationship they currently have with their brigade or rural fire force.
 
Gratuities will remain in place for anyone who is currently eligible to receive them. Any new personnel of Fire and Emergency New Zealand, who are employed after 1 July on Collective Employment Agreements (CEAs) with the NZPFU, NZFRCA and PSA, and new urban volunteers who are eligible under current policy, will also be eligible to receive gratuities.

We recognise that there are differences in the payments that people receive across the sector such as gratuity eligibility, payments and reimbursements for volunteers, and varying employment agreements. This is not ideal, nor is it possible to fix before 1 July. We are well aware of these issues and will be looking to address them with Fire and Emergency New Zealand personnel, and unions and associations, in the ‘integration’ phase over the next three years.

You also have our commitment that everyone will receive fair consideration and treatment throughout the transfer process – all transfers will be legally compliant with the Employment Relations Act 2000 and will be made as per the provisions of the new Fire and Emergency New Zealand legislation, which is still expected to pass in Parliament in mid-April.

Recent planning meetings with our people. 

The past month has seen several major workshops and meetings held with urban and rural fire personnel to get more of the sector’s views on the establishment of Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

Over the weekend of 25 – 26 February, we held our first Volunteer Working Group meeting in Upper Hutt with 45 urban and rural volunteers from around the country to discuss proposed initiatives for volunteers in the new organisation.

On 28 February and 2 March, we brought over 150 urban and rural fire managers together for ‘Leading through Change’ sessions in Auckland and Wellington to discuss progress, and what’s expected of them as leaders, in the build-up to 1 July and beyond.

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne spoke to attendees at both sessions and he acknowledged that our leaders will be “crucial to the success of Fire and Emergency New Zealand”. Minister Dunne also recently visited the new Puhoi Fire Station to see its construction underway and you can watch a video of him talking about our new organisation here.
 
On Tuesday 7 March I was also able to speak with Wellington Area’s Senior Station Officers at Newtown Station about their role as leaders and the value of their skills and experience in shaping Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

On the same day, representatives from fire service unions and associations also came together with some of their members (including front line Senior Station Officers, Chief Fire Officers, Rural Fire Force Controllers, and Area Managers) to provide input into what the Command and Control policy will look like for 1 July.  

The group talked about how current practices could be improved and the importance of keeping people safe – all agreed an interim structure was critical for 1 July to ensure current services will continue without disruption.

Attendees at each of these events were frank with their comments and questions, and we greatly appreciate this. Their guidance is helping to shape our new organisation.

Minister Dunne speaks with urban and rural fire personnel at the ‘Leading through Change’ session in Auckland, on 2 March 2017.

National Forum: 27 April

Last July we brought together more than 170 people who work within or alongside our fire and emergency services to update them on what Fire and Emergency New Zealand will look like on ‘Day One’.  

A lot of work has happened since then, so we are hosting a second National Forum on Thursday 27 April to thank all invited representatives for their commitment to working together over the last year and to update them on the progress towards 1 July and beyond.


Nationwide urban and rural fire meetings in May/June:

Following the National Forum, Fire Region Managers, Area Managers, and Principal Rural Fire Officers are planning to meet fire brigades and rural fire forces throughout New Zealand to update people on progress towards 1 July. These meetings will be similar to those held before Christmas last year.

There is now a lot of information coming out about how we will operate from 1 July, and we know that the best way to discuss this information is in local meetings face to face. These meetings will be held over May and June and will provide an opportunity for people to hear about the plans and to ask questions. Please keep an eye out for a meeting near you.

Fire Risk Management

The Board wants to acknowledge all the work that was done by our Fire Risk Management teams in the lead-up to changes to the Residential Tenancies Act last year, which made the installation of smoke alarms in rental properties mandatory.

For example, following the tragic house fire deaths of three Hamilton students in November 2014, the Waikato Area Fire Risk Management team worked proactively with local property managers to promote the installation of smoke alarms through a combination of face-to-face meetings, property management seminars, radio advertising, and visits to the university campus. This resulted in the majority of local property managers surveyed reporting they had purchased or installed smoke alarms by 1 July 2016, when the changes came into effect.

Initiatives like this are excellent examples of the great work already underway in schools, homes, and communities all over the country to reduce the incidence of unwanted fire. The Board is committed to building on this, and to working with our people post 1 July so that Fire and Emergency New Zealand can meet its fire responsibilities to reduce unwanted fire under the new legislation, and deliver the best possible services to our communities.

50 Year Medals

Congratulations to Deputy Chief Fire Officer Carl Beissel of Levin, who received a 50 Year Medal for his long service at a ceremony attended by Board Member Angela Hauk-Willis on Saturday 18 March. Thank you Carl 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

Board update – 15/03/2017

Fire and Emergency New Zealand – Progress towards 1 July 2017

We have made significant progress over the past eight months in anticipation of bringing over 14,000 people and 40 organisations under one umbrella – Fire and Emergency New Zealand – from 1 July 2017.

This progress is largely due to the goodwill and involvement of rural and urban personnel, and the wider fire services sector, who are working closely with the Board and Transition team to make sure our new organisation works in the best interests of our people and our communities.

More announcements will be made over the coming months, and can be found here: Updates

BUILDING FIRE AND EMERGENCY New Zealand: Three key phases

Establishing Fire and Emergency New Zealand is a large task and will take a number of years to fully achieve. We need to take time to do it properly and to keep working with the sector. For this reason, we have divided the work into three key phases: Amalgamation of urban and rural fire (1 July, 2017); Integration into a single organisation (1 July 2017 – 1 July 2020) and Unification (from 2020 onwards).

ORGANISATION

National Leadership

Three new roles will be in place from 1 July. These are: Chief Executive (CE), National Commander Urban (NCU) and National Manager Rural (NMR). These appointments will be made in April/May.

In the lead up to 1 July, Paul McGill has been appointed as the Chief Executive/National Commander, Kerry Gregory as the Deputy National Commander, and Kevin O’Connor will continue as the National Rural Fire Officer.

Regional leadership

No change to roles and organisational structure, up to, and including, Fire Region Managers (FRMs) and Principal Rural Fire Officers (PRFOs) from 1 July.

FRMs will report to the National Commander Urban.

PRFOs will report to five new Regional Managers Rural (RMRs), who will report to the National Manager Rural.

The RMR roles have been created because of the dissolution of Rural Fire Authorities from 1 July. These roles are two year appointments, an interim measure while urban and rural fire boundaries are reviewed (see below).

Command and control

Guidance and delegations to make sure command and control arrangements are clear on 1 July will be announced in May. Work to make sure this is done properly is underway and includes input from operational personnel and their representatives. Unified command and control arrangements for Fire and Emergency New Zealand will be developed over the next three years.

Urban/rural fire boundaries

Will remain in-place on 1 July to minimise any service disruption. However, these will be reviewed in the first year of integration and replaced with Fire and Emergency New Zealand boundaries over the next three years.

Rural Fire Authorities

Rural Fire Authorities (RFAs) (including Enlarged Rural Fire Districts (ERFDs)) will be dissolved from 1 July, with responsibility and funding for rural fire transferring to Fire and Emergency New Zealand. Territorial Local Authorities (TLAs) will no longer be required to fund rural fire from rates. We are working closely with these affected rural fire authorities to ensure their responsibilities are transferred with minimal disruption.

Rural fire assets

We are working with affected rural fire authorities to make sure Fire and Emergency New Zealand has continued use of response assets from 1 July. Permanent arrangements will be negotiated over the next three years.

Forest fires 

Agreements on how Fire and Emergency New Zealand will work with forest owners will be in place on 1 July.

Department of Conservation (DOC) and New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF)

From 1 July, Fire and Emergency New Zealand will have agreements with DOC and NZDF about fire and emergency services that each organisation will provide. NZDF will have fire control and emergency response powers and functions for NZDF areas.

 

PEOPLE

Volunteers 

Urban and rural volunteers will become Fire and Emergency New Zealand personnel on 1 July. An initial support package for volunteers for 1 July will be confirmed in May. 

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.  

RFA employees working solely on rural fire duties (whether full-time or part-time) will be offered a transfer to Fire and Emergency New Zealand, with equivalent terms and conditions of employment.

RFA employees who perform some rural fire duties, on top of other work for their TLA, will have the opportunity to apply for any vacancies in Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

DOC and NZDF employees who do rural fire work will remain with their respective organisations.

POLICY

Fire permits Fire and Emergency New Zealand will issue fire permits through an interim system from 1 July, while a permanent, national system is developed during the first year of Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand will issue fire permits through an interim system from 1 July, while a permanent, national system is developed during the first year of Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

Fire investigations

Authorisations to allow fire investigations to continue will be in place by 1 July.

Policies

Most current NZFS corporate policies will become Fire and Emergency New Zealand policies, with changes made where needed, for 1 July. These will be prioritised for review over the next three years, to ensure they meet the needs of Fire and Emergency New Zealand. There will be some new policies, such as Safety, Health and Wellbeing, expected to be finalised in May.

Disputes resolution process 

A temporary disputes resolution process will be in place for 1 July which can deal with a range of issues, including those raised by volunteers. More detail will be available from the end of April. A permanent disputes resolution scheme will be developed in the first year of Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

Local Advisory Committees (LACs)

Local Advisory Committees will be appointed by the Board and will provide valuable advice on local community risks and needs. LACs will not be involved in governance, management or operations. Three ‘pilots’ (including urban and rural fire personnel and community representatives) will test how LACs will operate. The Greater Auckland pilot was established in December 2016, Mid-South Canterbury will be established in March/April, and Hawke’s Bay will be established later this year. Consultation on LAC boundaries will start after 1 July. 

Funding

Public consultation was held last year on a proposed increase to the current levy from 1 July 2017. The proposed increase will help meet current and new costs (including rural fire). If the Government approves this first increase in eight years, it will apply until new levy provisions come into force.

The Government will make a ‘public good’ contribution to cover the cost of responding to incidents that are not property or motor vehicle related, such as rescues, and medical and other emergencies.

A new and broader levy (assessed on material damage insurance and third-party motor vehicle insurance) will come into force sometime after 1 July 2018. Consultation on this will take place after 1 July 2017.

Identity

Fire and Emergency New Zealand will have a new logo by 1 July, with decisions on uniforms and fleet colours coming later. The new identity is being tested in workshops and interviews with over 160 urban and rural personnel. Recommendations will be made to the Board in April, the logo will be revealed internally in May, and applied over the following months. 

Board Update – 02/03/17

February 2017
(An update from the February Board meeting)


Since the last update we’ve seen a couple of major vegetation fires across the country, with the most serious in Hawke’s Bay and Canterbury.

The joint-efforts of rural and urban, career and volunteer firefighting crews this season has been exceptional, with the load shared across teams from all over the country who have stepped up to help so their colleagues can be rotated out for a well-earned rest.

Career and volunteer personnel have been working flat-stick to contain these fires, and the New Zealand public have shown their gratitude in spades with countless home-cooked meals donated, and very positive feedback reported in the news and on social media.

Unfortunately, the response to these fires has come at a great personal cost to the sector. The Board would like to extend our sympathies to the friends, family, and workmates of Steve Askin, who was tragically killed in a helicopter crash while engaged in firefighting operations on the Port Hills on Tuesday 14 February.

While the circumstances of the crash are still to be determined, it’s a sad reminder of the risks involved in firefighting, and why we all need to do everything we can to ensure safety is at the core of any urban or rural fire response.

Our thoughts are with all those who are still working hard out there to contain these fires.

Two firefighters take a break after working hard to contain the Port Hills fire in Christchurch
Photo by Nick Rayner, Governors Bay Brigade

Leadership Update

The Board is very pleased with the appointment of Kerry Gregory as Deputy National Commander, effective from 6 March when Paul McGill becomes Chief Executive & National Commander, until 30 June 2017.

We look forward to working with Paul and Kerry in the lead-up to establishing Fire and Emergency New Zealand on 1 July.

Paul McGill
Chief Executive & National Commander
(effective from 6 March)

Kerry Gregory
Deputy National Commander
(effective from 6 March)

Local Advisory Committee update

The Board is pleased to announce Mid-South Canterbury and Hawke’s Bay as the location of the second and third pilot Local Advisory Committees, after the first was established in Greater Auckland in December 2016.

These pilots are about getting experienced people with strong links to their community to help us design how Local Advisory Committees might work in the future.

Local Advisory Committees will not have any operational decision-making powers but will be made up of community representatives who can advise the Board on local risks and needs.

Mid-South Canterbury will provide an important contrast to the Greater Auckland pilot, as an opportunity to test ideas and get input from provincial New Zealand with a completely different fire environment. Working out who sits on this pilot group will start next week with Fire Region Manager Steve Turek and Mid-South Canterbury Enlarged Rural Fire District (ERFD) Chair Alistair Munro.

The third pilot in Hawke’s Bay has been approved to start later in the year and details will be announced after 1 July.

Summary of key decisions for 1 July

A summary of key decisions to-date that have been made for the establishment of Fire and Emergency NZ, based on extensive engagement with the sector, will be sent to you next week. The issues covered will include the national leadership structure for Fire and Emergency NZ, urban and rural fire boundaries, access to rural fire assets on 1 July, the interim process for fire permitting, and more.

In the meantime you can have your say on the issues that matter to you on the FENZ Transition team’s Facebook page or email your questions to myvoice@fenzproject.co.nz.

Safety, health, and wellbeing


This month we heard from Stacey Shortall, recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading lawyers on the subject of workplace safety, health, and wellbeing.

We had a good discussion on what needs to be considered in managing risk effectively across the large number of personnel (career and volunteer, urban and rural) and the large number of workplaces and work activities that will be part of Fire and Emergency NZ from 1 July. 

One of Stacey Shortall’s key points was the need to consider all aspects of physical safety, work-related health, and psychological wellbeing when managing risk, which is the way urban and rural fire services have been working for some time.

The risks of firefighting and associated support activities aren’t just physical and that’s certainly been impressed to us through our previous meetings with urban and rural fire service personnel – particularly around the potential psychological harm associated with responding to medical incidents or motor vehicle accidents.

The Board’s focus will continue to be on these three main critical risk areas of safety, health and wellbeing in the lead-up to 1 July. 

A Fire and Emergency NZ Safety, Health and Wellbeing strategy and policy, developed with input from key urban and rural personnel, and with the involvement of unions and associations will be part of the new organisation from 1 July 2017.  As many key NZFS and Rural Fire policies as possible prior to 1 July, will be agreed to ensure they provide the highest level of protection for our people. 


Leader-led sessions

The Board has been advised that 93% of urban stations, brigades, and volunteer rural fire forces received an update from their managers and Principal Rural Fire Officers on the transition to Fire and Emergency NZ late last year. The Board is very grateful to our leaders who made these sessions happen around their existing workloads, and to the firefighters who took part in the sessions.
 
It wasn’t possible to achieve 100% during within this time, as understandably some stations, brigades, and rural fire forces were heavily involved in the response to the Kaikoura earthquakes. Planning is underway for a second round to cover the whole country in June.



NZFS Sportsperson of the Year 2016 – Anne Cairns

Hon. Paul Swain, Anne Cairns – NZFS Sportsperson of the Year.

We congratulate Palmerston North career firefighter Anne Cairns for receiving this award for the second-year in a row, following her trip to represent Samoa in kayaking at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Then she was back to compete in the Waka Ama nationals last September where she took out 1st Place in the 30km team race, and 2nd place in the 18km solo race.

Anne told us she plans to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and she’s got a busy schedule ahead of her with the Coast to Coast and Internationa Va’a (outrigger canoe) championship in this Tahiti coming up this year. It was exhausting just hearing about her gruelling schedule and we’re very lucky to have her on our team – well done Anne!

FENZ Bill progress
 

The Fire and Emergency NZ Bill passed its next stage in Parliament on 15 February, with broad support from MPs, who also paid tribute to the rural and urban firefighters battling the Port Hills fire, and those who had contained the Hawke’s Bay fire.

The Bill will become law when it passes through all stages of Parliament and is signed off by the Governor-General. We expect this to occur in April.

You can follow the Bill’s progress through Parliament here.
 
 
What this means for local government


Under the proposed new law, territorial local authorities (TLAs) will no longer be responsible for the funding or management of rural firefighting. From 1 July 2017 this will become the responsibility of Fire and Emergency NZ. However, we expect TLAs will still continue to play a key role in helping local fire services, given the strong links they have with their communities.  

Following the latest stage of legislation, we now have greater certainly and detail about the transference of those responsibilities to Fire and Emergency NZ.

I will be writing to TLAs involved in rural fire over the next week to seek a contact person within their organisation, so that we can make preparation for the transfer of rural fire responsibilities to Fire and Emergency NZ from 1 July 2017 as simple as possible for them.

We’d like to thank those of you who have already assisted us with information to help us build up a picture of the cost of rural fire. This information has been invaluable in forming a combined view of fire services across the country for the first time.

Keep an eye on fenzproject.co.nz/local-government-resources/ for dedicated information and resources for local government, which will be updated regularly.

Transition update
 
Workshops


Engagement with the sector has continued with the first Volunteer Working Group session over the weekend of 25 – 26 February. This allowed the transition team to receive feedback on proposed ideas for volunteer support after 1 July. The Board would like to thank the urban and rural volunteer personnel who attended for giving up their time. Their work will shape the way in which volunteers are supported in the future.
 
The first ‘Leading through Change’ session with urban and rural managers from around the country was held in Wellington on 28 February. The second is being held in Auckland on Thursday 2 March.
 
These sessions are designed to support our leaders who will be leading their teams through the transition period.

Regular meetings with stakeholders

The Board meets regularly with a number of stakeholders to update them on progress towards 1 July and to receive feedback on relevant issues. In February, Board members met with the Minister of Internal Affairs to update him on progress towards 1 July, and to hear about the progress of the legislation. NZFS Deputy National Commander Paul McGill and I met with the NZ Professional Firefighters Union, the United Fire Brigades Association, and the Fire and Rescue Commanders Association of NZ. We were due to meet with the Forest and Rural Fire Association of NZ but the meeting had to be postponed due to vegetation fires in Hawke’s Bay and Canterbury.
 
Paul McGill, National Rural Fire Officer Kevin O’Connor, and I also met with the National Rural Fire Committee recently to consider issues at a national level, related to the transition to Fire and Emergency NZ on 1 July.

Lyttlelton Chief Fire Officer Mark Buckley, Hon. Paul Swain
Photo Credit: Karen Casey

Briefs

Lyttelton Station


While many Christchurch firefighters were still trying to contain the Port Hills fire, it was great to open Lyttelton Volunteer Fire Brigade’s new station on Saturday 18 February.

The inconvenience of having to work from four different temporary sites since the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes has not stopped the Brigade from delivering a high-level of service to their community and the surrounding area. 

The Greater Christchurch Rebuild continues to gather pace. Following construction of Southbridge, Rangiora, and Lyttelton stations, construction work is now underway at Addington, Wainoni (Anzac), Sockburn and Woolston stations.  

Land has been purchased in Redwood, Spencerville and Sumner pending future new development in these locations. The next station scheduled for completion is Addington in August this year.

Paul Baxter farewell


NZFS Chief Executive & National Commander Paul Baxter was recently farewelled at an official Parliamentary function hosted by Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne this month.

Paul was presented with a mere pounamu as a gift on behalf of the New Zealand Fire Service. The greenstone came from the West Coast and was crafted by master greenstone artist Lewis Gardiner in Rotorua. The mere represents Paul’s mana as a leader and chief. The base also features several greywacke stones collected from Napier Beach to represent his tūrangawaewae. Paul takes up his new role as Commissioner of Fire and Rescue New South Wales next month, and we wish him and his family all the best for the future.
 

NZFS takes Gold at New Zealand Direct Marketing Awards.

Congratulations are due to the New Zealand Fire Service and its advertising agency FCB, who received a Gold award in the “Most Effective Response” category at the 2016 NZ Direct Marketing Awards.

 
The award was received for the “Made from Remains” Day of Influence campaign, which mixed ash from real house fires across the country into the ink of regional newspapers. On a single day, 13 newspapers across the country profiled these fires, and the need for working smoke alarms. The campaign lead to a 490% increase of smoke alarms on that day compared to the year before, and increased sales for the following weeks.

50 Year Medal recipients


The Board congratulates Deputy Chief Fire Officer Graeme Baker of Ashburton Volunteer Fire Brigade who long service was recognised on Saturday 11 February, and Fire Risk Management Officer Russell Dickson whose long service was recognised at a ceremony attended by Board Member Te Aroha Cook on Thursday 16 February.


Until the next update, stay safe and keep up the good work.
 
 
Hon. Paul Swain
Board Chair, New Zealand Fire Service Commission

Upcoming Key Milestones

We’ve been making significant progress towards Day One. There is still a large number of workshops and presentations between the team and sector representatives underway to finalise the work for amalgamation. So more is coming. Here are the key upcoming milestones.

Find out more about what’s been achieved in our End of Year Summary and our information pack for Leaders here.

 

Second Local Advisory Committee Pilot Location Announced

The second pilot to develop local advisory committees will start in the Mid-South Canterbury area in April 2017.

A further pilot will be run in Hawkes Bay in the second half of this year.

You can find out more about the purpose of local advisory committees, what the pilots are designed for, and more, here.