FENZ: Rawene Volunteer Fire Brigade

Rawene Volunteer Fire Brigade had 28 call outs made to Rawene’s primary response area up to 30 June of this year.

Rawene is a small provincial town that sits alongside the banks of the Hokianga Harbour in rural Northland. You may have passed through the historic town centre in your travels, catching the barge to or from Kohukohu.

IMANZ has been active in researching issues around the current FENZ CRISIS (rolling updates) along with the amalgamation (between our professional firefighters and our volunteer brigades) and lingering issues dating back to 2017.

Concerns were raised by Rawene locals that the current amalgamation was placing unrealistic pressure on their brigade alongside the considerable disruption from unnecessary covid restrictions – the initial response from FENZ may have deliberately avoided information on callouts that support neighbouring brigades, an issue that was raised earlier this year by Chris Leitch from Social Credit Northland among others.

Asked about any complaints from Rawene, FENZ responded, saying 
“There have been no complaints received by Fire and Emergency [from the brigade or local residents] in relation to the Rawene brigade.”

According to a recent annual review
“The capacity of the brigade was at 50 %”
The results found that the station was 1 officer and 2 drivers short at that time and there were 8 active firefighters while the brigade has a maximum establishment of 16. 

Based on the findings of the May audit it was deemed that an additional 6 firefighters need to be recruited.  

FENZ did not answer questions in relation to equipment, policy or support.

Six (6) callouts so far this year were not attended by the brigade and all were due to the un-availability of a driver at the time of the callout. 

Rawene Brigade at 30 June had among its volunteers:
• 7 operational members
• 3 Operational support
• 3 Brigade support 

There has been no significant turnover of members within the brigade with one volunteer transferred to Kaikohe but no active volunteer members leaving the brigade between 1 January 2022 and 30 June 2022 and no new members joining.

Asked how the “Brigade would rate their own performance” FENZ responsed, saying,
“20 callouts were classed as significantly delayed.” [This is on the basis that any time taken to be enroute to an incident more than 5 minutes from the alert time is considered to be a significantly delayed response.]

The FENZ dispute continues with NZPFU currently undertaking unprecedented strike action.

Jan Tinetti Minister of Internal Affairs

The significant attempts by the Minister’s Office (Jan Tinetti) to disrupt publication of current events relating to FENZ is covered in this post along with links to the NZPFU (NZ Professional Firefighters Union) Protest website.

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