Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fire and Emergency) is committed to fostering diversity and inclusivity in its workforce. While women (wāhine) have been active in firefighting since the 1940s, they are still under-represented, especially in leadership roles.

To help with addressing this under-representation, Women in Fire and Emergency New Zealand (WFENZ) commissioned some independent research which led to a report “Can’t be what you can’t see: Progression and development of women firefighters (career and volunteer)”.

There has been previous research outlining these issues over the years, but this is the first research that has asked our wāhine firefighters about their own experiences and opinions.

The research highlights six themes which can create either barriers or enablers for women’s’ experiences within Fire and Emergency and makes recommendations on ways we can work to remove the barriers.

These six key themes have been used to develop a proposed workplan for Women’s Development. This workplan sets out how we will seek to progress career development and advancement for women firefighters in Fire and Emergency in each theme area. 

We are sharing the research findings with AFAC, Unions and Associations, and widely within the organisation. 

We will be seeking to align (as relevant) this work programme with the wider Eke Taumata programme focus, and the Kia Toipoto priorities.

While the research has been led from Women’s Development, making progress against the six themes will require organisation-wide commitment and involvement

Read the research report on the Women in Fire and Emergency Portal page.


Last modified: