Background

The New Zealand Ambulance Association was formed in Whanganui in June 2006 with 12 members. Our membership has increased steadily over the years to the point where we are the dominant union representing volunteer, casual and permanent ambulance officers / paramedics in the Manawatu, Whanganui, Horowhenua, Central Plateau and Taranaki.  Of the 5 unions representing ambulance officers and paramedics in New Zealand, we have the third largest membership.

The triggers for the formation of the NZAA were ongoing single crewing of front line ambulances and the need for an ambulance-specific union to address employment matters. 

The NZAA point of difference from other unions representing ambulance officers is that NZAA is managed and organised by an executive committee, all of whom are operational ambulance officers.  This brings a greater understanding of current issues and how they impact on members, the public and ultimately the patient.

The NZAA had success in achieving the 2008 Health Select Committee Inquiry into Ambulance Services.

NZAA has continued to lobby St John Ambulance not only in regard to single crewing, but also on issues such as increased resources, health and safety, adherence to standard operating policies, clinical standards/safety and improved working conditions.

NZAA represents its members through both management and operational collectives, covering shift supervisors, shift managers, station managers, clinical coaches, clinical tutors, intensive care paramedics, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, first responders, emergency medical assistants and patient transport officers.

NZAA is involved in consultation with St John on workforce planning, demand profiling, roster changes and formulation of new policies.

NZAA represents all unions on the St John National Health, Safety & Wellness Committee.