New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union


Welcome to the New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union.

The NZPFU is a key partner with the Fire Service in delivering the Fire Service's strategic vision of reducing the incidence and consequence of fire and to provide a professional response to other emergencies.

NZPFU representatives are based on all career fire stations. There are also 19 Union Locals in the major metropolitan and principal centres where career firefighters are employed.

Apr 17 2014

NTM 5/2014

NTM 5/2014

QFF Progression Dispute

The Employment Relations Authority held the Investigation Meeting regarding this dispute in Wellington on 15 April.

The Authority reserved its decision but gave a preliminary indication that:

  • It was unlikely that any agreement had been made;
  • That the employer’s interpretation of the Progression Clause (essentially that all progression requirements needed to be completed before progression and that the consequent pay increase only take place once all these requirements were met) was likely to be upheld.

The Authority has indicated a decision would be put on hold until after Easter to see if the parties are able to resolve the matter by discussion.

This discussion is occurring and progress is being made – but some matters are quite technical and require close legal scrutiny.

The Union is very hopeful that these discussions will result in a jointly acceptable outcome.

ACC Consent Form

In the light of the recent ruling about the validity and the use of the ACC Consent Forms, the Union has raised the implications of this ruling to the form the Fire Service uses.

The Fire Service has accepted there are issues that need to be addressed and are working to:

  • Amend the form as necessary;
  • Consider the way in which the form is used – information collected and used.

The Fire Service has agreed to discuss with the Union the updated/redrafted form and its use.

If any members believe they have been disadvantaged by the previous interpretation/application or the use of the form, please advise this office.

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-No-5-17-April-2014 PDF icon

    NTM-No-5-17-April-2014.pdf | pdf | 35 KB | Last Changed: 17/04/2014 7:57pm

Apr 09 2014

Statement from NZFS, NZPFU and UFBA - BA Medium Pressure Hose Kinking

Statement from NZFS, NZPFU and UFBA - BA Medium Pressure Hose Kinking

This notice provides an update on the joint work taking place between NZFS management, the NZPFU and the UFBA to resolve the current situation with BA set medium pressure hoses.

Documents: (Click to view)

    Hose-kinking-NZFS-NZPFU-UFBA-joint-statement PDF icon

    Hose-kinking-NZFS-NZPFU-UFBA-joint-statement.pdf | pdf | 802 KB | Last Changed: 09/04/2014 5:19pm

Apr 03 2014

Union/Fire Service Joint Message - Collective Agreement Working Parties

Union/Fire Service Joint Message - Collective Agreement Working Parties

As members will recall, the existing Collective Agreement expires 30 June 2015.
However, during the course of the Agreement, a number of Working Parties are to be established to look at:

  • Part 3 and Part 4 Review of Remuneration. This will include appropriate benchmarking and will consider whether any changes to remuneration structures are necessary to support attraction, retention and progression;
  • Review of P.C.A.;
  • Review of Collective Agreement – simplification and clarification (will not consider changes to entitlements).

The intention of these Working Parties is to be in a position to provide detailed information to assist the Bargaining for a renewal of the Collective Agreement in 2015.

Planning and discussion commenced IN 2013 and the Union and the Fire Service Management met on 21 March to formally commence the Working Party process.

For the Part 3 and Part 4 exercise, the Working Parties will commence shortly establishing and determining Job/Position Descriptions. This will include involvement with persons currently working in the various categories - Communication Centres, Volunteer Support Officers, Fire Risk Management Officers and Training roles that are covered by the CEA.

Hay Group will be involved in the benchmarking exercise – doing much the same job as they did for the Operational Benchmarking exercise. Hay Group attended the 21 March meeting for around an hour and refreshed the Union and Management on what they can contribute.

The P.C.A. Review will particularly look at:

  • Administrative arrangements around the actual assessment;
  • Qualifying criteria;
  • The place of on-site station gyms, including management, payment and maintenance of equipment;
  • Basis of the payment.

The 2014 round of P.C.A. will continue under all existing arrangements – any changes that might arise out of the Working Party would not be implemented until 2016 – if appropriate.

As occurred with the Job Sizing exercise for Operational Workers, as matters progress regular updates will be provided.

Fire Risk Management Strategy Review

NZPFU Part 4 members may be aware of the commencement of this Review. The Review will be formally announced in the near future. The Union has been consulted as is appropriate and Peter Hallett has been asked to be specifically involved as the NZPFU representative.

Peter Hallett’s role is providing a link between Fire Risk Management Officers (NZPFU members) and the NZPFU and NZFS regarding any concerns/issues at the process, that the Review targets the right things, and that members have a means of forwarding complaints if or when the Review goes off target.

All FRMOs will be given the opportunity to have their say and provide input through a proposed consultation process, either face to face and/or electronically, perhaps as individuals and/or groups.

This Review is not a review of Part 4 of the C.A., but it is possible the work could have some impact on the work of the Part 4 Working Party, which work is also about to commence.

Members are encouraged to participate in the Review of this strategy which will help form the business Fire Risk Management will undertake in the future, but as with so many things, “Be careful what you wish for, cause one day they may come true”.

Peter Hallett will provide the necessary link between the two projects.

Documents: (Click to view)


    JOINT-MESSAGE-NZPFU-NZFS-April-2014.pdf | pdf | 42 KB | Last Changed: 03/04/2014 10:05am

Mar 19 2014

NTM 3/2014

NTM 3/2014

Relationship with UFU of Australia

Last week the NZPFU and the UFU of Australia National Committees met for a 2 day meeting.

There was extensive discussion and exchanges of information covering a range of issues including:

  • Medical Responses
  • Firefighters and Cancer
  • Union Global Alliance
  • Interaction with AFAC

The simple fact is, for example with Medical Responses, Melbourne has been doing this for a number of years; they have identified numerous problems/issues and have found resolution to them. It makes complete sense for us to learn from that experience rather than (once again) trying to reinvent the wheel.

It is planned for there to be further joint meetings and there is an agreement between both Unions for a Joint Conference in Auckland later this year.

SMS Update - Personal Details

The Fire Service is about to advise members of the opportunity to update personal details – contacts etc. on SMS. Although this process is voluntary, unless there are extraordinary circumstances, the Union encourages members to get these details updated.

In the case of a disaster, this will facilitate communication with families etc.


The Union, through various representatives, is presently well involved with a large number of Fire Service Projects including:

  1. Firefighters and Cancer
  2. Traffic Management Plans
  3. Review of Fire Safety
  4. Accident Investigations
  5. B.A. issues
  6. Collective Agreement – Part 4, Com Centres.
  7. P.C.A. Review
  8. Medical Responses

As well, the business as usual work on Safety & Health, PPE, Training and Disputes continues.

Documents: (Click to view)

    NEWSLETTER-TO-MEMBERS-No-3-18-March PDF icon

    NEWSLETTER-TO-MEMBERS-No-3-18-March.pdf | pdf | 39 KB | Last Changed: 19/03/2014 3:59pm

Feb 12 2014

NTM 2/2014: Medical Responses

NTM 2/2014: Medical Responses

Members will know that over recent months there has been a significant increase in Medical Responses/Assists and a consequent increase in problems being experienced with those calls.

It would seem that the trigger for the increase is the discussions on an updated M.O.U. with St. Johns Ambulance.  The updated MOU has not yet been agreed and the existing MOU that dates back to the mid 2000s is still in force.

However, St. Johns have changed their Coding System and the application of reporting to Code Purple was expected to reduce the number of calls – instead however, they have increased, and what has also occurred is an increase in problems being experienced at the calls.

A number of specific examples have been referred to senior management – as well as problems with lack of training, equipment, support for firefighters and a lack of knowledge (from various parties) of other organizations’ practices and procedures.

Consequently, yesterday there was a meeting between the Union and Paul Baxter, Paul McGill and Stu Rooney.  That group of Fire Service managers was quite willing to accept there are some serious problems out there and have committed to resolving them.

Separate to the specific MOU issues, a Project Team is to be established to look quite specifically at issues arising out of and related to medical responding – and the Union will be represented on the Team.

To summarize – all that can be done is being done both locally and nationally – however, it needs to happen faster.

In the meantime, the Union needs detailed reports of incidents when problems have occurred or where solutions have been found to problems – the need for this quite specific information is vital.

As well, it is vital that full and accurate reporting of incidents is entered in FIRS – including such things as whether the Fire Service arrived before the ambulance.

Documents: (Click to view)

    NTM-No-2-Medical-Resp-12-Feb-2014 PDF icon

    NTM-No-2-Medical-Resp-12-Feb-2014.pdf | pdf | 35 KB | Last Changed: 12/02/2014 1:40pm

Jan 21 2014

NTM 1/2014: Survey - Fire Net

NTM 1/2014: Survey - Fire Net

The Union has been advised that management is conducting a review of Fire Net.

Such a review is obviously necessary given the universally negative perception of Fire Net and its usefulness/usability.

As part of this review, a Survey has been developed and is about to be released.

Although the Union has had no involvement in the development of the Survey, it is aware of its contents and sees no problem with it, although the Union believes the results will be entirely predictable.

However, as improvements to Fire Net are obviously necessary, if you do choose to respond, the Union would hope your response is totally honest and comprehensive.

Documents: (Click to view)

    NEWSLETTER-TO-MEMBERS-No-1-21-January-14-Survey-Fire-Net PDF icon

    NEWSLETTER-TO-MEMBERS-No-1-21-January-14-Survey-Fire-Net.pdf | pdf | 30 KB | Last Changed: 21/01/2014 12:52pm

Jan 05 2014

MOU between St John Ambulance and the NZFS

MOU between St John Ambulance and the NZFS

Members may have read various publications, including our own notices, surrounding the proposed MOU with the St John Ambulance.

FRM Butt, who is the lead NZFS person on the MOU project, has basically said that the MOU has been agreed to by the various organisations and would only need to be signed in the New Year.

Your Union’s position is that this is nowhere near resolved. We are still awaiting replies to two pieces of important correspondence which outline our position and more importantly our concerns over the content, protections, notifications and responses held within the first draft of the MOU.

Members in areas that do not normally respond to assist ambulance staff at medical calls may be experiencing an upsurge in attending these types of calls. This is due to an apparent instruction given to St John communications centres by their management, stating that effective immediately, Fire will be responded to all purple incidents nationwide.

This instruction has been given prematurely, before all of our concerns have been addressed.

This draft MOU was written without any reference to, or study of, overseas examples of fire service first responder programs and any of their successes or failures.

It is our opinion that fire-fighters are being used to prop up a mis-managed ambulance service, where cost saving and profits appear to take precedence over public and staff.

FRM Butt is quoted as saying they want to make the best use of our resources for the benefit of the patient. The draft MOU certainly did not reflect that statement.

Our position definitely does reflect that statement. In fact our position would have provided far earlier first response to every paid district for medical emergencies, while reflecting the need for higher level of training and the very real potential for increasing the technical knowledge, the complexity and authority of fire-fighters jobs.

It is clear to your Union that current first aid training is not sufficient to respond, arrive first or even assist hardworking understaffed ambulance staff at medical emergencies.

Fire Service responders need to be trained to a higher level. Clear evidence of the difference between first aid courses level 2 and the more advanced pre-hospital care course are available on the St. John web site.

Members are advised to be careful when responding to these medical emergencies as there are a myriad of pitfalls and dangers involved, not the least being cultural issues and stress.

Members are advised to contact an on duty executive officer should they require critical incident stress debriefing or if they have any concerns at all about responding to medical emergencies given the training they currently have. Members also asked to copy any and all correspondence they have with management, to the Union office.

Your Union will be contacting management again, to follow up on the MOU and St Johns actions and reinforcing our concerns. We will keep members advised.

Dec 23 2013

NTM 23/2013

NTM 23/2013

BA Maintenance

Further to the number of Newsletters concerning the minor maintenance of B.A.

Amongst other things, the Joint Statement included -

“Some maintenance activities will continue. Some activities the B.A. Departments carried out will continue and we appreciate the commitment from Fire Service staff in performing them.

These activities include:

  • Managing the sets being sent to Draeger for repair;
  • Managing the Area logistics sets;
  • Maintaining cylinders and servicing valves;
  • Testing gas suits;
  • Testing air purity.

Fire Service staff will also carry out repairs to the B.A. Sets that do not require the set to be re-tested. For example – replacing harness parts, neck-straps and LDV covers. Draeger has developed a set of instructions for carrying out their work and the Fire Service has offered to train and certify staff to do it. This includes training on servicing the new 90 degree valves and air purity testing.

We envisage that all users on Stations will carry out battery changes in the communications units and manage the battery packs in the telemetry sets. However, we will fit in-cab chargers to all telemetry sets later this year, which will significantly reduce the need to exchange these battery packs.”

It seems to be clear that:

  • There is no impediment from the Union to members taking on the limited minor maintenance work required that does not require re-testing to take place;
  • There has never been a payment for B.A. Technicians only – only TELARC qualified persons;
  • The person carrying out minor maintenance must be trained and certified.

Work such as this is picked up in the Job Sizing for pay purposes, and this and other specialist work will continue to be picked up in the future.

Union Organisation Chart

At Conference 2013, Local delegates were given sufficient Union organizational charts for every Station.  If your Station does not yet have one displayed, please contact your Local Conference delegate.

Troy Mahupuku

As you will know, the Union, on behalf of the Fire Service Associated Agencies, has been collecting donations for Troy and his Family.

On 19th December, at a small function at Avalon Station (Lower Hutt), the amount collected was presented to Troy.

Christmas/New Year

The Head Office will be closed from 24th December 2013 to 7th January 2014.

In the case of any serious matters requiring urgent attention, please make contact through a National Committee member.

Best Wishes to Members and Families for Christmas and the New Year.

Dec 04 2013

NTM 22/2013

NTM 22/2013


Members are advised that the Union is undertaking the first of what is proposed to be several on-line Surveys using Survey Monkey.

Members will receive encrypted links for their Fire Service e-mail, via a Union initiated e-mail.  Members will need to click the links and follow the instructions.

The first Survey will be around the Ratification & Information meetings.  It may take around 5 minutes of your time and we are very interested in getting your feedback on the process followed so that we can refine and/or improve the processes for ratification.

We would appreciate you completing the Survey fully and we are very interested in the response rate as well, particularly considering this is an on-line Survey and will give us a read on members’ appetite for conducting on-line work.  The e-mail should arrive shortly.

QFF Progression Dispute

The Union’s lawyers have filed in the Employment Relations Authority and we await advice from the Authority regarding hearing dates.

Conference 2013

Conference 2013 was held in Wellington last week.  This was the 25th Annual Conference – which represents the 25th anniversary of the formation of the National Union.

As well as Delegates, some seven representatives from the U.F.U. of Australia were present.

  • Boyd Raines was elected as one of the Union representatives on the Board of the N.Z.F.S. Superannuation Scheme, replacing Steve Warner who did not stand for re-election.
  • Delegates agreed to maintain Union Fees at present rates – the fees having now remained unchanged for 15 years (apart from the government GST increase).
  • Boyd Raines has been appointed as one of the C.T.U. representatives on the Major Hazards Facilitation Guidance Group.

Nov 27 2013

Compensation Insurance Update

Compensation Insurance Update

Updates have been made to our Compensation Insurance information. Please see the new attachments available for download here.

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