Earlier this year, all Fire and Emergency employees were invited to take part in the first Whanaungatanga Wellbeing Survey. This included career firefighters, commanders, Communications Centre personnel, trainers, Volunteer Support Officers, and employees based at regional offices and at NHQ.

The survey is an important part of the Whanaungatanga Programme which is focussed on addressing organisational factors to improve wellbeing.

The aim of this survey was to measure current levels of employee mental health, measure organisational factors (things like perceptions of support and accountability) and look at how these impact mental health. It also gives us a baseline to measure the programme’s effectiveness.

It’s important to acknowledge that while this programme is currently being piloted in Te Hiku with career firefighters, we know that both career firefighters, and our volunteer firefighters across the country are repeatedly exposed to potentially traumatic events and are also impacted by other organisational factors. We want to learn as much as we can through the pilot and identify the evidence-based changes that will make a difference so that we can see how all employees and volunteers can benefit.

Click on the video below to watch a summary of the survey's findings

Or you can read the factsheet summary of the findings.  [PDF, 983 KB]

For more information including detailed findings visit the survey Portal page

Support available 

Remember it’s always ok to ask for help.

While we are all resilient – we are not invincible.

It’s ok for people to have a range of reactions to these findings. You may feel validated or relieved. You may feel distressed. All of these reactions are completely normal.

However, if you find that you’re not feeling great in a few weeks, or this survey has brought up things for you that need addressing – you may want to consider seeking support.

  • Wellbeing Advisors - our Wellbeing Advisors are happy to help you get the right support you need - so reach out and have a chat
  • Peer Supporters - colleagues who are trained to provide support and understand the pressures of the job 
  • Free and confidential counselling - Call our provider Vitae on 0508 664 981

If you’re more comfortable seeking support outside of Fire and Emergency, a good place to start is by speaking to your GP or by reaching out to services like 1737(external link), which you can call or txt to speak to a trained counsellor.

Programme next steps

Work is already underway, and we continue to work in partnership with the New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union (NZPFU) and the Fire and Emergency Commanders Association (FECA) to deliver the programme.

There is a shared commitment across our organisations to work together and make things better for our people.

Actions underway:

  • An Intervention Development Team (made up of firefighters and managers) in the pilot region Te Hiku is using the data to come up with organisational change interventions.
  • Interventions will be piloted in Te Hiku and Auckland University of Technology (AUT) will measure their effectiveness. We want to find evidence-based changes that will make a real difference. After the pilot we’ll consider expanding effective initiatives to the rest of the country.
  • The results show we need to take action for our ComCens. Although they are outside of the Movember-funded pilot, we will be running extra workshops with our ComCens to come up with targeted interventions that will work for them.
  • We have also expanded the Psychological Supervision Pilot we are running in partnership with the NZPFU to include all ComCen personnel.
    AUT will run a follow up survey next year to measure progress.

Thank you to everyone who has given their time either by completing the survey or taking part in the workshops. We are committed to making sure your contribution makes a difference.

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