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Minister Absent Regarding FENZ Culture Issues

A toxic workplace culture at Fire and Emergency New Zealand has not improved in the past three years according to a new report, National’s Public Service and acting Fire and Emergency NZ spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

“The Public Service Commission’s independent review shows that FENZ’s workplace culture and handling of complaints of bullying and harassment has not improved despite three years passing since the damning Shaw report came out.

“This shows that Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti has been asleep at the wheel. Millions of dollars have been spent on improving the workplace culture at FENZ, but today’s report shows that little has changed.

“Instead of engaging with FENZ and directing it to fix its problems, the Minister has continued to ignore the issues. She is completely checked out of her role.

“Ms Tinetti must urgently demand that the FENZ board addresses the organisation’s shocking culture – not just give them a slap on the wrist as she has done in the past.

“FENZ cannot afford to wait another three years for improvement; it needs to happen now to avoid the organisation completely falling apart.

“Firefighters do so much for New Zealanders. At the very least, they deserve to be treated respectfully within the workplace. Not driven out by bullies at the top, who aren’t being held to account by the Minister responsible.”

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