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Fire & Emergency New Zealand

Fire and Emergency committed to building a positive culture following independent review

Fire and Emergency committed to building a positive culture following independent review

Fire and Emergency New Zealand Board Chair Rebecca Keoghan MNZM says the organisation is committed to making Fire and Emergency a place where all its people thrive.

This comes following the release of a Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission review of Fire and Emergency’s workplace culture and complaints handling processes.

Rebecca Keoghan requested Te Kawa Mataaho complete the review earlier this year and accepts its findings and recommendations.

“The review confirmed we have good foundations,” Rebecca Keoghan says, “and it recognised we have made progress and acted on all fronts to address the 33 recommendations of Judge Coral Shaw’s independent review in 2019 of workplace policies, procedures and practices to address bullying and harassment

“Our intentions were good, but we have still fallen short in terms of implementation and where we need to be. It’s clear that much more needs to be done to effect the change to address poor attitudes and behaviours that still exist within the organisation,” she says.

“There is no place for bullying and harassment at Fire and Emergency. It will not be tolerated, and the Board will take all measures needed to protect our people.

“The recommendations offer an opportunity for us to reset and provide a pathway to improve our people’s experience with Fire and Emergency,” she says.

“Recommendations range from those we can act on quickly to those that are very complex and even require legislative change. We will now carefully consider each recommendation and develop an action plan to implement them and create the change needed.

“The recommendations will be addressed as a collective responsibility across the organisation and while no single recommendation will bring about the change required, taken together, they will make a difference.

“The Fire and Emergency Board has always known that it will take time and sustained effort to achieve this type of whole organisation, end to end, culture change. There’s a lot of work ahead but we remain focused. Continuing our progress towards a safe, healthy workplace culture is a top priority.

“I’d like to thank everyone who participated in the review and provided their insights, experiences, and perspectives. It was incredibly valuable.

“We’re fortunate to have such a dedicated workforce. Their wellbeing is of paramount importance to us. With their support, and a new focus on collective accountability, I’m confident we’ll make the changes needed and build a safer Fire and Emergency for all our people and for Aotearoa.”