We’re happy to announce the results of Te Hiku’s Ngā Tohu Raukura (previously celebrating success awards)

Winners were announced in Region Manager, Ron Devlin’s, update on 11 November and an awards ceremony will be held once COVID-19 restrictions allow.

Ron said “I’m glad to see that volunteer, career, and support staff across our Region are recognised for their mahi. The judging panel agreed that all the nominations were very high quality and marking was especially difficult this time. I want to acknowledge every nominee for their contribution and achievement.”

Thank you to the winners and nominees for going above and beyond for the organisation and the people we serve.


Here are the category winners:

Community Enrichment: Lindsey Davidson
Lindsey Davidson, Senior Firefighter, Kohukohu Volunteer Fire Brigade is a key member of the Kohukohu Brigade, located in a small rural community on the northwest coast of the Far North. Lindsey recognises the distance and isolation issues and has taken ownership to overcome them by engaging and forming meaningful partnerships with the local community, iwi, and our emergency response partners.

She has worked with local schools, delivered sessions, introduced teachers and caregivers to the Firewise programme, and produced colour-in images for children which she has shared with other brigades via social media. She worked closely with other local brigades, the Broadwood community and the former Area Fire Risk Management Team to ensure a presence at the Broadwood A&P show (which has been postponed to next year due to COVID).

Leadership: Laura Lindsay
Laura Lindsay started her career at Fire and Emergency as a Business Services Coordinator, then moved into the Rural Business Support Manager role, and in more recent times the Business Services Review Project Manager. Finally, she’s landed in one of the new roles in Counties-Manukau as Senior Advisor Community Readiness and Recovery. Over this time, she has been involved and led large-scale projects in Deployments, Regional Women’s Advisory Network (as Secretary), and Fire Plans. There is nothing Laura can’t do! Alongside this, Laura’s commitment to constant growth and improvement, in her work and her skills, has seen her studying alongside her full-time workload.

Whether in formal leadership roles or in her day-to-day interactions, Laura demonstrates organisational values naturally and unwaveringly, is trustworthy, exercises empathy, empowers and puts others first, and never worries about doing “what’s easy” but is focused on what brings the best outcome.

Operational Efficiency: Josh Nicholls
Josh Nicholls, Senior Firefighter Auckland City, has shown enthusiasm and drive to improve operational efficiency for firefighters resulting in better outcomes for them and the public we serve. His projects include:

  • Working on National IGC Radio Project for a year with National Operations. This saw new, modern hand-held radios being rolled out to all brigades across the country -- one of our most successful rollouts
  • Identifying a need to utilize our Command Units to support Rural IMTs at large vegetation fires and the training required to get these units and operators up to a desired level. This included being part of a National Audit Team that reviewed communications after the Ōhau vegetation fires
  • Developing a system to manage post-fire particulate suppression which will mitigate the dangers from carcinogen exposure. The process suppresses particulates on firefighting Level 2 uniform thus allowing firefighters to safely remove breathing apparatus and uniform after a fire.

Josh carried out these projects through understanding and applying international best practice, engaging with internal and external stakeholders and using innovation to ensure processes and procedures are fit for purpose.

Safety, Health and Wellbeing: Mel Johnson
Mel Johnson, Te Hiku Welfare Support Officer, understands the need for support services for our firefighters and the importance of taking care of staff welfare in relation to purple calls and other challenges that firefighters face as part of their role.

Mel makes it her priority to know what firefighters are responding to and consider how they might be feeling afterwards. She keeps herself up to date with Region statistics and follows up to make sure personnel know that someone is looking out for them.

Anyone who has met Mel can see she leads with empathy, is always professional and trustworthy and genuinely cares about the wellbeing of others. Mel paves the way in showing how firefighters can be looked after when they’re experiencing challenges, either professionally or personally, and makes sure they are getting the support they need.


Highly commended

Community Enrichment: Mark Thomas, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Piha Volunteer Fire Brigade

Leadership: Barry Thomas, Station Officer, Auckland City Station

Operational Efficiency: Glenn Menzies, Community Risk Manager, Auckland City District

Operational Efficiency: Chris Delfos, Group Manager, Counties Manukau District

Safety, Health & Wellbeing: Jason Goffin, Advisor Risk Reduction, Northland

Safety, Health & Wellbeing: Darryl Johnston, Volunteer Support Office, Waitemata District

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