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Burning need for real consultation in Fire Service

Sandra Goudie MP
National Party Internal Affairs Spokeswoman

15 September 2008

Burning need for real consultation in Fire Service

Major changes to the management in the New Zealand Fire Service are being rushed through with almost no consultation with volunteers, says National’s Internal Affairs spokeswoman, Sandra Goudie.

“The document ‘Reshaping NZFS Management Structures to Meet Future Challenges’ was only released for consultation this month and submissions close in less than two weeks on 26 September.

“Worse, the document was only posted on the volunteer firefighters’ website VollyNet on Monday – that is less than three weeks consultation.

“This is an appalling attempt to get these changes through without volunteers having any realistic chance of making their views heard.

“It is an undemocratic railroading of the consultation process and should not be tolerated.

“These proposed changes to the Fire Service management structure will directly affect more than 7,000 volunteer firefighters who meet, at best, once a week and will have almost no chance to discuss the changes, let alone make a submission.

“The Minister, Rick Barker, needs to explain whether he thinks three weeks consultation is adequate for such an important issue.

“I want him to assure me that these critical changes will not be rushed through without proper consultation with NZFS management, staff, volunteers, and the public.”


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