Fire and Emergency New Zealand releases bullying and harassment review

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Fire and Emergency New Zealand releases bullying and harassment review

Fire and Emergency New Zealand has released an independent review into its workplace policies, practices and procedures to address bullying and harassment, which has clearly highlighted a need for change.

The Positive Workplace Culture Review, commissioned by Chief Executive Rhys Jones on 9 July 2018, was led by retired Judge, and former Chair of Pumicelands Enlarged Rural Fire District, Coral Shaw, supported by a reference group of experts.

Rhys Jones says the review was commissioned to give direction on how to lead a safe and inclusive workplace, following the formation of Fire and Emergency New Zealand in July 2017, which brought together 14,000 people, across nearly 40 different firefighting organisations with different cultures, identities and ways of doing things.

“The safety, health and wellbeing of our people is of paramount importance to us. I have zero tolerance for bullying and harassment of any kind in this organisation, and we will be working together to implement change and be the organisation New Zealand expects us to be,” Jones says.

“We do a really good job at protecting communities but we need to put more focus on looking after each other.”

Fire and Emergency has accepted all of the report’s 33 recommendations, which include the need to adopt a new set of values, Code of Behaviour, and remove barriers to reporting bullying and harassment.

“The report is wide-ranging and confronting. We asked Judge Shaw to shine a light on our organisation, and what we’ve found is a clear need for change to remove unwanted behaviour.

“This change will take time and it may be difficult, but this will make us stronger, and allow us to focus on what we do best – keeping New Zealanders safe,” Jones says.

Jones says Judge Shaw was given full and open access to engage with past and present personnel, and the organisation’s current processes, policies and procedures.

“I’d like to thank everyone who was brave enough to share their stories for this review.”

Jones says change is already underway, and the organisation has committed to taking all necessary steps to build a workplace culture where everyone feels respected and included regardless of their gender, ethnicity, age, orientation and beliefs.                       

See full report here - Positive workplace culture review [464KB PDF]

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Email: media@fireandemergency.nz