I write this letter with regard to the alleged bullying in the Mangawhai Volunteer Fire Brigade (MVFB).
As a member of the brigade (firefighter) I am currently on leave and have been since December 2014 while the formal HR complaint I have raised with the NZ Fire Service (NZFS) is investigated.
The investigation has been in progress for nearly six long months (were advised by NZFS it would be three months) and as such I am not surprised that someone in the community in desperation has put pen to paper.
As many within the Mangawhai community know, there have been ongoing issues within the brigade since at least 2012. I am not the only person who has raised a formal HR complaint and separately at least one other fire fighter is on extended leave from the brigade as a statement of support.
Obviously due to the ongoing investigation I cannot talk in detail about the issues raised.
When my own situation within the brigade became untenable I could have just resigned and walked away but I have seen how others have, and still are, being affected and felt that something needed to be done for the betterment of the brigade and ultimately the community.
NZFS management advised my only option to try and resolve the matter was to raise a formal HR complaint.
I have utmost respect for the firefighters and operational support members of the brigade still on the front line, and in spite of how it may appear, only want the best for them and the brigade in the long term.
Hopefully my discussing the current situation will be viewed by the community objectively and with dignity and the NZFS will complete their investigations as soon as possible.