The Bully Brigade – It’s Not OK

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Here at Whaleoil we often receive tip-offs from people suggesting a cover-up or that a scandal is taking place. Sometimes it is just people venting. But occasionally, it indicates the tip of an iceberg of a story.

But the posts INTRODUCING THE BULLY BRIDAGE:CRISIS IN KAIPOI, THE BULLY BRIGADE, CTD ? NEWS FROM THE TRENCHES and LEAKED: THE BULLY BRIDAGE SECRET INTERNAL DOCUMENTS has opened a can of worms. ?

Firefighters across New Zealand are by and large very well respected. They are there in times of most need. Even Readers? Digest Most Trusted Professions 2013 ranked Paramedics number one, followed by Firefighters and Rescue Volunteers at number three. Politicians were ranked 46, one above sex workers.

In New Zealand, 85% of firefighters are volunteers, not paid firefighters who have unions protecting their interests. The rest are part of the NZ Professional Firefighters Union ? hell-bent on protecting their patch.

Not surprisingly there?s a big stoush between the two groups going on. And this is where it starts to get really interesting.

After posting those stories exposing the shocking behaviour of a number of the New Zealand Fire Service (NZFS) employees, the tip-line has been inundated with stories indicating widespread bullying, false accusations against volunteers, abuse of power and even blatant racism within the NZFS.

And it goes right up the ladder to NZFS HQ.

There?s one conclusion. The culture within the NZFS is a train-wreck, and people are now openly venting their frustrations about the lack of leadership within senior management.

The issues at Kaiapoi provide a snap-shot of what?s going wrong within the NZFS.

As a result of the information coming into Whaleoil, we have launched our own investigation in to the bullying within NZFS. Not surprisingly, it goes right up to Ministerial level.

As I?ve said, this is not a story for the fainthearted.

The Government has poured millions into a campaign trying to address Bullying in the Workplace, recognising it is a significant hazard in New Zealand.


 

If you are concerned about bullying in the workplace see the following:

Worksafe New Zealand has Bullying prevention tools here.

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