Tena koutou katoa,

Last week we advised that some work was being done around volunteer reimbursements for those who have been helping out with the Pigeon Valley fire and we have had discussions with unions and associations to work out what this will look like.

There has been a huge commitment by all our people who have attended the Pigeon Valley fire whether Volunteer, Career, urban, rural, contractors, operational or non-operational. We are pleased to say that we will be offering access to the loss of income policy for our volunteers who have been deployed to this event and do not have entitlement to incident payments.

This offer has been put in place as a special recognition for the Pigeon Valley fire as this is a significant event that has as meant a number of our volunteers are spending an extended period away from home and their day jobs.

We also acknowledge that there are a range of terms and conditions that were carried over from all our previous 40 organisations as we work to create a unified and equitable set of policies for all. This means not all our volunteers are supported in the same way.

During 2018 we started working on a fair and consistent long-term solution for reimbursement and other recognition to ensure that our volunteers are supported more equitably while doing the great job that they do. A solution is under design and will be proposed and consulted on later on this year.

This does not affect or pre-determine what our future proposals and final policy may be. This means that if you have helped out with the Pigeon Valley fire as a volunteer for Fire and Emergency, you can apply to be reimbursed for costs such as loss of wages/leave, dependent care, or replacement staff.

Below is more information on how to apply for reimbursement.

Thanks again to everyone for your amazing hard work and commitment to Fire and Emergency.

How to apply for a reimbursement for Pigeon Valley response

There are a number of reimbursement options you may be able to claim:

  • Loss of wages or annual leave for employed people.
  • Replacement costs for relievers for self-employed people
  • Dependent care costs

The links below will help you through the claim steps.

Please note as we our extending our standard loss of income policy in this event, the policy and supporting materials as they stand refer to training. Please substitute this for the Pigeon Valley fires when reading.

You will need to provide the relevant declarations or evidence for each type of claim. We will centrally assess and approve all claims against our records. You do not need to gain local approval.

We are currently working on an online version of the paper-based claim process and we will have more information about this when available.

Please allow up to a month for processing from the day you submit your reimbursement application.

If you have any questions or need help with the application process, please contact us on PigeonValley@fireandemergency.nz and let us know a time (and number) between 8am and 7pm Monday to Friday that we can contact you to walk you through the process.

Thank you,

Brendan Nally & Kerry Gregory

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