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Rural Fire Mediators Panel named

15 August 2008

Rural Fire Mediators Panel named

Internal Affairs Minister, Hon Rick Barker, has announced the appointment of four new members to the Rural Fire Mediators Panel and the reappointment of two current members. All have specialist skills and knowledge in rural fire, forest, and land management.

The reappointed members are:
- Don Geddes, of Whakatane, with 50 years’ experience as a manager and senior protection officer in the forestry sector; and
- John Ward, of Nelson, with over 50 years’ experience in forestry management and regional rural fire co-ordination.

The new members are:

- Dennys Guild, of Christchurch, over 20 years’ experience in forestry management;

- Paul Sampson, of Rotorua, experience in rural fire, engineering and local government ;

- Ralph Turner, of Taupo, over 50 years’ experience in conservation, rural fire and forestry management; and

- Kerry Ellem, of Christchurch, experience in forestry, land and asset management.

“Each has held senior positions in fire-related sectors, and demonstrated their high degree of expertise and capability,” Mr Barker said.

The Rural Fire Mediators Panel is maintained by the Minister of Internal Affairs as a pool of rural fire control specialists who can be appointed as Rural Fire Mediators by the National Rural Fire Officer to determine specific fire matters or disputes.

Rural Fire Mediators can investigate the causes of any rural fires they are assigned to, and can decide what fire suppression costs may be recovered. Rural Fire Mediators have Commission of Inquiry powers in their mediation role.

All members have been appointed for terms of five years commencing from 14 August 2008.


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