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New Year Honours Recipients Recognised

Today Paul McGill was formally made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand. The honour was presented by the Governor General at a ceremony at Government House Auckland.

Fire and Emergency Board Chair Hon. Paul Swain says the prestigious honour recognises the contribution Paul McGill made throughout his 39 years with Fire and Emergency and the former New Zealand Fire Service.

"Throughout his career Paul’s leadership made a significant impact to both Fire and Emergency New Zealand and the former New Zealand Fire Service - particularly during his time as Chief Executive and National Commander Urban," says Paul Swain.

"Paul had a key role in the responses to the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes, including work to replace fire stations after the earthquakes. Paul was the driving force behind the establishment of the Urban Search and Rescue and worked with St John on the introduction of medical first responder and co-responder schemes across New Zealand."

Paul McGill is one of six recipients to be recognised for their services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand and/or their community in the 2020 New Years Honours list.

Paul Wright and Anne Flutey were presented with their honours earlier this month and John Taylor will be presented with his honour next week.

Stuart Jones and Joe Hedley will be presented their honours at a later date.

Hon. Paul Swain thanked each of the recipients for making a difference to their communities and Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

"On behalf of Fire and Emergency and the wider New Zealand community, I would like to give my congratulations and thanks to each of the award recipients and those who have supported them: their families, friends and in the case of volunteers - their employers."

"The recognition of their hard work, dedication and achievement at this highest level makes us immensely proud."

Background information on recipients

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

Paul was presented with his honour on 23 July 2020 at Government House Auckland.

Background

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 had key roles during the response to Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes and was 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 was presented with his honour on 1 July 2020 at Government House Wellington.

Background

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 was presented with her honour on 3 July 2020 at Government House Wellington.

Background

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.

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

John will be presented with his honour on 27 July 2020 at Government House Auckland.

Background

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.

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

Stuart will be presented his honour at a later date.

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

Joe will be presented his honour at a later date

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