Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced a $4 million-a-year package to recognise the contribution made by Fire and Emergency volunteers to communities across New Zealand.
Speaking at an event at the Paekakariki Fire Station to kick-start National Volunteer Week, Tracey expressed her gratitude to Fire and Emergency’s 11,800 volunteers.
“Our communities are safer and stronger because of you, and I thank you for that.”
She says the reward and recognition package from Fire and Emergency New Zealand recognised the efforts volunteer firefighters made to keep their communities safe.
“Our volunteers are a passionate and committed group of people. Just as they’re there for us when we need them, we want to be there for them so that they can better serve their communities.”
Volunteers make up 80 per cent of Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s personnel and are first to the scene at over 31,000 incidents each year, including motor vehicle accidents, medical emergencies and structure and vegetation fires.
The package is comprised of six initiatives that recognise the contribution that volunteers make and acknowledge the role of their whanau and employers in supporting them. They are:
• An annual payment of $300 to all volunteers to recognise that they sometimes incur expenses as part of their activities for Fire and Emergency.
• An allowance of $50 per night to support the family/whanau of volunteers when they have to be away overnight for training.
• Access to a web site offering discounts on a range of products and services.
• Discounts with Fire and Emergency suppliers on day-to-day items.
• Access to health insurance options.
• An employer promotion scheme to complement Fire and Emergency’s current Employer Recognition Programme.
Consultation on a further set of initiatives will begin shortly.