Attendees from across Fire and Emergency recently participated in a hui to review current support services and where we can improve as an organisation.

As part of the Positive Workplace Culture Programme, a two-day Workplace Culture Hui was held on 12 and 13 November at Westpac Stadium in Wellington. The hui, facilitated by an external provider Psych for Leaders, was organised to hear from Fire and Emergency New Zealand personnel about their insights and experiences to build the support services we need, to focus on the type of culture that we aspire to be a part of and to identify what we need to do to realise that.

60 attendees participated in the hui, with each region selecting and sending 10 people in order to represent as much diversity as possible. The balance of the attendees came from the Respect and Inclusion Task Force, enabling union and association representation, and teams from NHQ.

The hui began with an opening karakia, led by Elizabeth Church, and an introduction to the agenda: the importance of the hui to Fire and Emergency, why and how everyone was chosen to participate, and to outline aspirations for the hui.

Events like this are an important way to facilitate a conversation about how Fire and Emergency can best serve our people and identify areas where we can do better. Rhys was the day’s first speaker and explained the origins of the Positive Workplace Culture Programme, his long-term vision for the culture at Fire and Emergency and took stock of where we’re at now.

Following Rhys’ remarks there was an opportunity to ask questions, before the participants were divided into groups. For the rest of day one the groups worked through a series of activities designed to discuss the independent review(external link), participants’ vision for what a positive workplace culture will look like and to share everyone’s thoughts with the hui.

The second day of the hui began with a quick review of the findings from day one, followed by a panel discussion around the view of positive culture from other organisations, hosted by dispute resolution practitioner Jennifer Mahoney and lawyer and mediator Lesley Ashworth. This was followed up by a case study presented by Mel Aitken, National Manager Safer People, and Cath Curran-Tietjens, National ER Manager, of NZ Police.

During the afternoon, groups had the opportunity to submit feedback around specific initiatives, support needs and what the future of a positive workplace culture at Fire and Emergency looks like.

What's next?

Feedback received from participants is being reviewed and will be used to inform plans for regional hui in the new year.

Stay updated on programme progress at the Positive Workplace Culture Programme homepage(external link).

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