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Fire and Emergency honours’ recipients congratulated

Fire and Emergency New Zealand Chief Executive, Rhys Jones has congratulated six firefighters from Warkworth, Rotorua, Whanganui, Kirwee (Canterbury), Nuhaka (Hawkes Bay) and Wanaka, who were named in the New Year’s Honours list released today.

"We are very proud to have such talented and dedicated people put themselves forward to serve both Fire and Emergency New Zealand and their communities," said Mr Jones.

"The immense amount of work they have undertaken for Fire and Emergency and many other organisations is helping to make their communities stronger, safer and more resilient."

The recipients are:

- Paul McGill (Warkworth) - Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand

- Paul Wright (Rotorua) - Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand and the forestry industry

- Patricia (ANNE) Flutey (Whanganui) - Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand and the community

- David (STUART) Jones (Kirwee, Canterbury) - Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand

- Allan (JOE) Hedley (Nuhaka, Hawkes Bay) - Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to the community

- John Taylor (Wanaka) - Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to the community

"On behalf of all New Zealanders, I would like to thank these six for their service and congratulate them on receiving this very special honour," says Rhys Jones.

Additional information:

Paul McGill (Warkworth) - Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Paul McGill retired in 2019 after 39 years of employment with the New Zealand Fire Service and Fire and Emergency New Zealand. From 2017 he held the role of National Commander Urban, the highest-ranking firefighter position in New Zealand.

During his career Paul held a range of positions including firefighter, Senior Station Officer, Area Chief Fire Officer, Fire Region Manager, Director of Operations and Training, Deputy National Commander and Acting Chief Executive in the lead up to the establishment of Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

Paul was the National Commander during the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes and a driving force behind the establishment of the New Zealand Urban Search and Rescue teams. He has been responsible for developing fleet and property asset management plans and made significant contributions to addressing requirements for station replacements in the Christchurch area following the earthquakes. Paul has worked in collaboration with St John on joint training, sharing facilities and in the introduction of first responder and co-responder schemes across New Zealand.

Paul Wright (Rotorua) - Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand and the forestry industry

Paul Wright has worked in the forestry industry for more than 40 years in a variety of senior management roles throughout New Zealand, Australia and the Fiji Islands.

As Principal of the Fiji Forestry Training Centre Paul provided vital support to Fiji’s growing forestry industry. Since 1991 he has held senior operation and management positions in the Central North Island. He was Principal Rural Fire Officer of Pumicelands Rural Fire District from 2007 to 2017 and was Chief Executive from 2015 to 2017. In these roles he has overseen the amalgamation and continued management of several fire authorities. He has been Principal Rural Fire Officer for Fire and Emergency NZ since 2017. His efforts have led to changes and improvements in fire management, both regionally and nationally.

Paul has been actively involved in Rotary for 34 years and is a Past District Governor and for more than 40 years he has been involved with organisations supporting disabled people.

Patricia (ANNE) Flutey (Whanganui) - Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand and the community

Anne Flutey has volunteered in Whanganui and South Taranaki for 48 years, including serving as the Secretary of the Waitotara Volunteer Fire Brigade for 35 years where she was made a Life Member in 2000.

She has been the secretary for a multitude of committees in the South Taranaki towns of Waitotara, Nukumaru, Patea, Waverly and Maxwell. In 2004 she moved to Whanganui where her volunteering continued, including for Citizens Advice Bureau and as a member of the Patea-Waitotara District Council, Patea County Council, Patea Community Board, and South Taranaki District Council, the V3A History Group and the New Zealand Founders Society.

David (STUART) Jones (Kirwee, Canterbury) - Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Stuart joined the Cust Volunteer Fire Brigade in 1974 and transferred to the Kirwee Volunteer Fire Brigade in 1979 where he is a current member.

Stuart was elected Station Officer of the Kirwee Brigade in 1984, became Deputy Chief Fire Officer in 1996, and has held the role of Chief Fire Officer since 2000. He has been the driving force behind fundraising events to upgrade or replace equipment, replace operational support vehicles, and for the construction of a tanker shed. He has mentored and trained a number of firefighters over the years, many of whom have gone on to careers with Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

After the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake, he was a member of a revolving crew stationed with Kirwee Brigade’s tanker at the Christchurch City station to assist other crews in the surrounding area in the weeks following.

Allan (JOE) Hedley (Nuhaka, Hawkes Bay) - Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to the community

Joe has given more than 35 years of service to his local community, including membership of the Mahia Volunteer Fire Brigade for the past 19 years.

Joe has volunteered for St John Ambulance service for 18 years and was a committee member of the Wairoa Lions Club for 20 years.

Other roles in his community have included President of the Mahia Boating and Fishing Club, an organisation that he has been involved with for 36 years, and committee member of the Mokotahi Hall Committee for the past 16 years. He has voluntarily contributed to the maintenance of the Mahia Golf Club greens and was involved as a fundraiser and planter for Mokotahi Hill restoration planting

John Taylor (Wanaka) - Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to the community

John was a founding member of the Lake Hawea Volunteer Fire Brigade, serving a variety of positions between 1972 and 2008.

John has been involved in numerous Hawea organisations and committees, including the Hawea Community Association since 1991, and co-Chairman of the Hawea District ANZAC Committee for the past ten years, where he helped to establish a war memorial for the district and organise ANZAC commemorations.

He is an active member of the Lake Hawea Foreshore Working Group, and has held roles with the Guardians of Lake Hawea for 37 years, including three periods as Chairman between 1995 and 2005. He has been a member of the Wanaka Search and Rescue since 1982 and was made a Life Member in 2017. He is a current member of the Hawea Dip Trust and the committee of the Upper Clutha Tramping Club.


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