The Transition Reference Group (TRG) provides advice and guidance to the project. Its members are expert advisors and an important link between the project and BAU environments. Officials from the Department of Internal Affairs sit on the TRG in the Department’s role supporting the project to realise Cabinet’s intentions and the Minister’s expectations. The TRG meets fortnightly.
Chair of the Transition Reference Group
National Rural Fire Officer
NZFS Regional Manager, Auckland Region
Policy Director, Department of Internal Affairs
Chief Fire Officer, Sumner
Chair, Wellington Enlarged Rural Fire District
As the Transition Director, David leads the Transition Team during the establishment of FENZ. He has more than ten years’ experience in transforming large organisations. Most recently David was the Programme Director at NZ Post leading their Network of the Future Programme.
David served for more than 20 years in the New Zealand Defence Force, rising to the rank of Lt. Colonel. During his service David was deployed on peacekeeping missions to the Middle East, Bosnia, and East Timor, and was twice awarded the United Nations Commendation for Service to Peace.
From his time in the Army David understands the unique relationship of an organisation that comprises paid and volunteer workforces. As a designer of NZDF’s long term strategic vision, David is well-placed to think about the future of fire and emergency services for New Zealand.
His academic qualifications include two Masters of Arts in Strategic Studies from Kings College London and the University of Waikato. He is also a graduate of the Joint Command and Staff College, United Kingdom and the Royal Military College in Duntroon, Australia.
For David, success on Day One (1 July 2017) is defined by a collective bringing together of separate fire services organisations into one integrated fire and emergency service. Core to this will be a shared belief that this is the right thing for our communities, for our people and for New Zealand, and – crucially – that all New Zealanders want to be part of the changes.
As Transition Director, David will be the single point of accountability for the design, planning, implementation and handover of the changes. He will listen, learn and do his best to ensure that all voices are heard.
Governance, Strategy & Performance Lead
Fraser has been working on the Fire Service Review and Transition since its inception. He joined the New Zealand Fire Service as the National Manager of Strategy & Performance in 2013. Prior to this Fraser was a freelance business consultant working in Wellington.
Fraser has a varied background which includes six years working in a variety of backstage roles in the theatre, including as sound and lighting technician, lighting designer, stage carpenter and ultimately as a production manager. He then spent six years as an operational firefighter in the London Fire Brigade. He finished his time in the London Fire Brigade on the Watch Commander Development Programme and holds a UK Station Officer’s qualification – some of which he remembers.
He emigrated to New Zealand in 2004 and worked in a variety of roles for ACC in Central Otago and Wellington finishing up as the organisation’s Strategy & Planning manager. After this Fraser began working independently and has experience in corporate strategy development, programme design and management, and in establishing programme management offices.
Fraser brings a strong strategic skill set and a personal understanding of the business to the Transition team.
Chief of Staff, Establishment
Joanna has a background at chief executive and governance levels in the public and voluntary sectors in national and international organisations. This has included leading mergers and major change programmes involving many stakeholders. She is an experienced project and programme manager, known for the rigour of her analysis and her ability to keep the line of sight to outcomes, and for her in-depth understanding of effective governance, management, organisational strategy, stakeholder engagement and change management.
Joanna has a strong track record working in the public sector, as well as with community-networked organisations. She has led a Crown entity, worked with Oxfam and the Human Rights Commission, and also brings a deep understanding of organisation dynamics in the volunteer sector, from her years leading not-for-profit bodies.
Joanna has worked extensively in environments that require management of a wide matrix of internal and external stakeholders. She has a reputation for establishing trust, credibility and strong working relationships, and for delivering shared outcomes.
Joanna’s role is the Chief of Staff, Establishment. She will be setting up the team and the work programme, ensuring it is designed in ways which enable the sector to be involved.
Stakeholder Engagement Manager
Sue is the workstream lead for Stakeholder Engagement.
In June 2015, Sue joined the Department of Internal Affairs as Transition Advisor to advise Government on the Fire Services Review which has led to decisions to draft new legislation and the establishment of a single fire authority – Fire and Emergency New Zealand in 2017.
Sue will be known to many in the fire service given her work over the past 18 months on the Review.
As Transition Advisor on the Review she was involved in preparing Cabinet papers, offering ministerial support, helping to shape policy direction and providing advice on the cultural, legal and technical aspects of amalgamating more than 40 independent legal entities, 650 brigades and rural fire forces, and 13,000+ people.
She is an experienced business leader who has worked across the private, public and NGO sectors. Sue has been on several large-scale merger planning teams, and has worked with a diverse group of organisations to improve their national service delivery standards, cultures, organisational structures and performance outcomes. She has held executive leadership positions in human resources, technology and health & safety, and has lead teams of up to 3500 during change. She is an experienced facilitator and mentor in business, human resources, and leadership.
Operational Policy & Processes Lead
Richard has spent most of the past 10 years implementing high profile legislation changes in the public sector. Most recently Richard was at WorkSafe New Zealand developing the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and associated regulations. Prior to that he worked at Ministry for the Environment on the implementation of the Emissions Trading Scheme and the Waste Minimisation Act, and Inland Revenue to develop KiwiSaver, and also Immigration New Zealand arranging the Skilled Migrant Category.
As project manager Richard’s role is to make sure the Transition team do a good job of implementing the new legislation. To do this he will make sure the project sets the right goals, is organised, involves the right people and ultimately ensure that FENZ is ready for Day 1.
Having joined the transition team on 20 June 2016, Richard’s task is to make sure the new legislation in the Process and Operational Policy workstream functions in the real world. This project will look at what the legislation requires FENZ to do through business processes, who will do it and where, in terms of delegating roles and responsibilities, and how it is constructed via service design, operational guidance and instructions. The workstream will also make sure that staff have all the tools they need to do their job on Day 1 and that they have received the required training
Transition Legal Advisor
Joy was Legal Counsel for New Zealand Fire Service from January 2010 until she was seconded full-time to the Fire Services Review in January 2015. She had previously worked as a lawyer in private practice in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch.
Transition Legal Advisor, Joy will provide guidance to the Transition team in relation to the Legislation Support workstream. In turn, Legislation Support provides ongoing advice and expertise to the team from Department of Internal Affairs working on the changes to legislation and regulations.
Joy has been advising the New Zealand Fire Service on matters relating to the Fire Services Review since the Swain Review of the Fire Service back in 2012, right through to the initial draft bill following the Cabinet decisions in 2013. She has provided consultation to NZFS on the expanded Review following the Cabinet decisions in 2014, and has been involved with other subject matter experts in assisting the Department of Internal Affairs with preparation of the Discussion Document in 2015, the Cabinet papers, and the draft Bill in 2015 and 2016.
Part of a team of subject matter experts including Stu Rooney and Gary Lockyer, Joy provides support to workstream lead Fraser Fyfe. The team also support the DIA team’s work in relation to the Fire and Emergency Services Bill which is now before the House, and will go to Select Committee later this year for public submissions. Supporting the DIA team in its work on the new regulations needed under the Bill.
Infrastructure & Technology Lead
Wayne joined the Transition team in early August, coming directly from Z Energy, where he worked on Z’s successful acquisition of Chevron NZ. He has over 30 years of experience managing a mix of business and technical programmes, and over the last decade has worked as an independent consultant helping organisations implement large-scale change programmes, gathering extensive knowledge in the areas of business transformation and programme management.
Wayne’s position on the team is ICT Transition Lead, and he’ll be tasked with ensuring all the technology implications of transition are fully considered and ready-to-go by Day One. He’ll also be planning and implementing any additional technology requirements and systems supporting legislation or process change. Another key responsibility will be to integrate the ICT workstream with the other transition project work streams. This will guarantee ICT have an early understanding of the work required.
Some highlights of his most recent programme leadership roles have included the launch of New Zealand Racing Board’s new Digital Channel for Apple and Android Smartphones, the consolidation and introduction of new Investment Products for AXA New Zealand and the implementation of organisational-wide changes to meet the new regulatory environment in the Financial Services Industry, and leadership of key areas of the integration of AXA and AMP following AMP’s acquisition of AXA in Australasia – which required the rebuild of their private and public WEB applications, removal of the AXA Brand and refresh of the AMP Brand and co-locating both organisations in offices across the country.
Wayne’s pragmatic and calm working style, and his proven ability to be successful in a wide variety of roles, has enabled him to provide effective stakeholder management and communication throughout his career, and he’s looking forward to bring the same level of success to his role with the FENZ Transition Project.
Although Wayne’s sporting heydays are behind him he is still a keen supporter of sport, especially his home rugby team the Hurricanes and the All Blacks. He also still dines out on a story that a famous past All Black Prop, while testing Wayne’s technique in a scrum training session, told club officials this lad could go all the way!
People & Change Lead
Yvonne began her professional career in the UK working in the health sector. Her roles included being part of the senior leadership team accountable for managing a large hospital, and also responsibility for leading the delivery of human resources and organisational development within a number of different types of health service organisations. Since arriving in New Zealand 7 years ago, Yvonne has worked at a number of government ministries, ACC and District Health Boards, on a range of HR, organisational development and change management work programmes.
Having joined the Transition team in early September, Yvonne brings a fresh perspective to the project that compliments all of the existing knowledge developed during the Fire Services Review.
Her position is People & Change workstream lead, a role where she’ll be responsible for leading the development and delivery of programme work impacting all personnel during the design of the new organisation.
The People & Change workstream will be split into a number of smaller components – Transitioning through to Day 1, Volunteers, Capability & Training, Health, Safety & Wellbeing, Organisational Design and Change Management, with an approach aimed at allaying some of the fears people may have about moving to Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) and making sure they’re involved in its development in a way that they are comfortable with.
Implementation & Pilots Lead
Janine McLees was a member of New Zealand Police for 21 years -10 years in sworn service and 11 in non-sworn roles (including ICT and Communications Centres) where she discovered a passion for implementing and managing projects. She left Police to further her project management experience which has included senior project management positions with National Bank / ANZ, Ministry of Justice and most recently NZ Post, delivering significant change programmes.
Joining the team in August 2016, Janine is excited to be contributing to the amalgamation of New Zealand’s fire services, something she believes will benefit not only the public, but also improve the sector. In her role as the work stream lead of Implementation & Pilots she will bring together all facets of the changes into an integrated plan ensuring the Transition team meet the needs of the Bill for 1 July 2017. This work also includes the early piloting of the local committees and the events leading up to ‘Day 1’.
Principal Advisor (Urban)
Stu has a background in urban operations and senior management in a career of just over 40 years with the New Zealand Fire Service. In 1991 he was appointed to his first executive role in the fire services National Office, and was promoted into a strategic advisory role there in 1995. In 1997 he was appointed to the Assistant Fire Region Manager role for Southern Fire Region, and then in 1998 to Fire Region Manager. As Fire Region Manager he was appointed to the Co-ordinating Executive Groups of civil defence for both Otago and Southland, and he served as a Board member of the Southern Rural Fire Authority until being appointed to the National Operations Manager back in National Office in 2012.
As National Operations Manager, Stu was responsible for leading a team whose responsibilities include developing operational policy and procedures, the Fire Service Communication Centres, operational equipment, and USAR. Stu is also a Steering Committee member of the AFAC Emergency Management Professional Scheme [ EPMS ].
Stu is the principal advisor in the Transition team for urban fire with a focus across operations, volunteers, and legislation. He will be providing both specialist and general advice across the various work-streams of the transition programme.
Stu commenced working in a part-time capacity as the urban subject matter expert with the joint DIA/NZFS/NRFA fire services review (FSR) project team early 2014, and became a fulltime member in January 2015.
Principal Advisor (Rural)
Gary has an extensive background with experience and qualifications in Forestry and Land Management, Police and Rural Fire Management, spanning a career over 30 years. In 2001 he became the inaugural Principal Rural Fire Officer for the Pumicelands Rural Fire Authority where he led and managed the amalgamation of four Rural Fire Districts in the Central North Island. In 2004 Gary completed his studies to attain a National Diploma in Fire and Rescue Services Management.
In 2007 Gary took up his current position as National Manager Rural Operations with the National Rural Fire Authority (NRFA) in Wellington. In this role he has been leading the implementation and coordination of national rural fire management activities including stakeholder partnerships, the amalgamation of rural fire districts, operations, standards and performance. Gary also manages the NRFA deployments programme both national and international. Additionally Gary took up the role of acting National Rural Fire Officer in the latter part of 2014.
Gary is the principal advisor in the Transition team for Rural fire with focus across all areas in particular Operations, Volunteers, Stakeholder Engagement, Change Management and Legislation. Additionally he will be providing subject matter expert (SME) advice into workstreams, including leading and coordination of the seconded rural fire authority SME personnel working in the Transition Project.
Gary commenced working in the joint DIA/NZFS/NRFA Fire Services Review (FSR) project team in July 2014 and remained a member of that team through to the end of the Review in April 2016. His role as the key NRFA subject matter expert has involved work in areas of Stakeholder, Community and Workforce Engagement, Options Analysis & Design and Legislation & Regulations.
Senior Advisor (Rural)
Originally from Havelock North, Mike Grant has spent 39 years working for various land management agencies in New Zealand.
Mike began his career as a Forest Ranger Trainee with the New Zealand Forest Service in 1977, moving to the Department of Conservation in 1987, where he worked for 10 years as Second in Charge of Rimutaka Forest Park, and then later, as a Senior Fire Control Officer in Canterbury.
After transferring to Southland in 1996, Mike began working with New Zealand Fire Service as their Rural Operations Manager, and as Principal Rural Fire Officer for Southern Plantations Rural Fire Authority. In 2003 he commenced his current position as Chief Executive / Principal Rural Fire Officer for the Southern Rural Fire Authority, an area that covers 3.4 million hectares of land in the Southland region, including exotic commercial forest, DOC estate and local government land responsibilities.
Mike brings this vast body of experience from within the rural sector to the position of Senior Advisor (Rural) on the Transition team. A role where his knowledge ensures that the rural sector are listened to, consulted with, and that those views are then considered during the planning and implementation phases of Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
A self-confessed outdoorsy type, Mike enjoys hunting and fishing and spending time in our beautiful back country mountains and lakes. He also used to be an enthusiastic off-road runner until his body broke down about 4 years ago.
Senior Advisor (Rural)
Bryan is currently Principal Rural Fire Officer for the Auckland Rural Fire Authority, a role he’s held since 1992. He worked in the same position during his time as Manager of Rural Programmes for Manukau City Council. During these roles, Bryan gained an extensive knowledge of the rural sector, and the issues and challenges that face those working within it. He’s also been incident controller / team leader for 15 years on one of the three National Incident Management Teams, a role that is challenging and immensely rewarding.
Bryan joins the Transition team as Senior Advisor (Rural), offering expertise and advice from a rural perspective. While he’s a new addition to the team, Bryan was involved early on in the fire services review process, where he worked closely with the Department of Internal Affairs, and has continued to consult with stakeholders as the legislation and regulations were developed for Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
In his role, Bryan will collaborate with several workstream leads, and his aim is to assist the Transition team to consistently deliver well informed policy and procedures that reflect the future needs of both the urban and rural sectors. His experience guarantees a practical voice on the Transition team, one whose knowledge matches his desire to get things right.
Outside of work, Bryan enjoys spending time with family, and has a passion for vintage cars, his most recent project a 4 ½ year restoration of a 1936 Auburn Boat-tail speedster.
Advisor - SME
“It gives us the opportunity to combine the talents and experience of all fire services personnel to build one strong and cohesive organisation to support people and their communities”, says Thomas about the transition to Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
Thomas Harre currently works for the Auckland Rural Fire Authority as Deputy Principal Rural Fire Officer, he’s also a member of the National Rural Reduction Technical Group, and has been on a National Incident Management Team since 2014.
He’s looking forward to sharing his knowledge and experience with the project, and eager to share experiences with other members of the team.
Advisor - SME
Nigel Dravitzki has close to 30 years’ experience with the New Plymouth West Volunteer Fire Brigade, where he progressed through the ranks to become Officer in Charge, receiving an honorary life membership from the brigade, which he still has close ties with.
In June 2013 he took up the role of Principal Rural Fire Officer for Taranaki, and with the help of his personnel achieved significant improvements over a short period of time in that rural community.
“Having been involved with fire services across both the rural and urban sectors provides me an interesting viewpoint to contribute to the FENZ Transition Project”, says Nigel, an opportunity he sees as exciting.
While he believes fire services are currently serving communities well, a unified service will make for much better community outcomes in the future.
Advisor - SME
Having been involved with rural fire for 35 years, Ian Reade started out with the New Zealand Forest Service, becoming Principal Rural Fire Officer in 2011 with Waimea Rural Fire District. He’s currently Chief Fire Officer of the Mapua Volunteer Fire Brigade.
“We have a great opportunity to build a new customer-focused fire and emergency service provider that is a great place for people to volunteer and work”, says Ian, and he believes putting your hand up to help with the transition to Fire and Emergency New Zealand is the right thing to do.
Providing a service that is fit for the community and equitable across New Zealand is something that Ian is passionate about, with one of the results he sees as being more opportunities for personnel across a wider range of services.
Advisor - SME
Jeff White has 15 years’ experience as the Forest Operations Manager for an international forestry company in the Nelson region, and had previously worked for the Mt. Cook Industrial Brigade attaining the level Senior Firefighter. He’s also a board member of the Waimea Rural Fire Authority.
“Everybody already works toward the same goal, saving lives and property regardless of which organisation they represent, but I think the current model does not make the most efficient use of skills, personnel or assets”, says Jeff.
One of Jeff’s aims is to achieve higher levels of training and competency and provide better utilisation of existing resources to tackle an evolving fire and emergency environment in New Zealand.
Advisor - SME
As Volunteer Support Officer Southland, and Chief Fire Officer of the Gore Volunteer Fire Brigade, Steve Lee has gained many positive experiences from working with career, volunteer, and rural personnel, and noted the significant contributions made by all sectors.
“I hope to provide an understanding of volunteerism and the commitment volunteer firefighters deliver to their communities”, says Steve.
Having witnessed the benefits brought about by the formation of Enlarged Rural Fire Districts first hand, Steve is looking forward to a smooth transition to Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
Advisor - SME
Currently National Advisor Fire Risk Management, Todd O’Donoghue started as a volunteer firefighter, working his way up to the role of Volunteer Support Officer, also working in fire safety before becoming a Senior Specialist Fire Investigator for the Fire Research and Investigation Unit.
“I was keen to not only share my own experience, but also that of my peers through a consultative process to help build a fire and emergency service that can operate efficiently in the interests of community safety”.
Todd is looking forward to helping shape an organisation that will become a world leader in how it operates and delivers its service to the public, with the benefits being a more consistent service across the country, and one that operates in the interests of community safety.
Advisor - SME
With 21 years’ experience with the New Zealand Fire Service, Grant Haywood first joined as a volunteer before choosing to become a career firefighter. He’s also held senior officer roles in the Hutt Valley area and worked at National Headquarters as National Advisor, Operational Efficiency & Readiness.
“I’m keen to lend my knowledge, experience and skills gained from working both as a career and volunteer firefighter to realising the future vision of the new organisation for the benefit of both staff and the public we serve. It’s an exciting opportunity”, says Grant.
Grant has a real understanding of the challenges personnel face each day to provide a service to our communities, and his work undertaking operational reviews and accident investigations will bring an interesting perspective on the reality of a modern emergency service in New Zealand.
Advisor - SME
After leaving school, John Sutton, joined the New Zealand Forest Service as a Ranger trainee, and over a 17 year career gained experience in a wide range of work, including controlled burns and rural firefighting.
John joined the Department of Conservation in 1987 and is currently Operations Manager of the Whakatane Whirinaki Opotiki District in the eastern Bay of Plenty, where fire is a big threat to biodiversity. Since 2000 John’s participated in several overseas deployments to wildfires in the US and Australia, and last year was part of an Incident Management Team deployed to Alberta, Canada. He also helped establish the Pumicelands Enlarged Rural Fire Authority.
“I’ve been impressed with what I’ve observed of how the FENZ Board and Project team have committed to a collaborative and consultative approach to this transition with their stakeholders and community”, says John.
John believes that in a relatively small country, we really can’t afford to have multiple authorities all working parallel to one another, and he envisages a stronger organisation gained through amalgamation
Advisor - SME
Coming from a career firefighter background, Joe is advising the People and Change workstream for the transition project. He is also the current local president for the NZPFU.
“I hope to provide a career perspective in the creation of the new organisation” says Joe.
As an officer in the New Zealand Defence Force, Joe overlooked the amalgamation of army battalions in during the restructuring of the NZ Army in 2011. Prior to that, he was a field officer for the Primary Teachers Union and the Engineers Union also, facilitating private and public sector development.