All team members must read, understand and agree in writing to the approved code of ethics for USAR practitioners as developed by the Hutt City Emergency Response Team (NZRT18).


The Team is responsible to itself, partner agencies, Civil Defence and the community it serves. Members are expected to act appropriately in dealing with members of the public and with each other, displaying a high degree of professionalism and integrity at all times.

Member Responsibilities

Team members have a responsibility to the team and themselves to carry out their duties in an efficient and competent manner, avoiding any behaviour that may impair their effectiveness.

When acting as a member of the Team, as a minimum members are expected to:

  • Obey the law
  • Exercise reasonable care
  • Respect any authority conferred on them
  • Comply with the requirements of these policies and procedures
  • Take reasonable care of, and neither use nor allow the use of team property, resources and funds for anything other than authorised purposes.
  • Incur no liability on behalf of the team except with proper authority
  • Take reasonable care of public property, team property and the property of team members
  • Ensure all required reports and documents are correctly completed and held in safekeeping
  • Bring to the notice of the Team Leader any matter or situation which impairs, or could impair operations or otherwise adversely affect the public interest
  • Take all practical steps to ensure their own safety and that no action or inaction causes harm to any other person
  • Not abuse any authority conferred on them through oppressive conduct or otherwise
  • Oversee the health and safety of those over whom control is exercised

Unacceptable Behaviour

When acting as part of this Team unacceptable behaviour includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Consuming, or being under the influence of any alcoholic beverage, drugs, or any other substance
  • Falsifying records
  • Giving false information
  • Disorderly conduct, fighting, or assault
  • Negligently endangering the safety of or causing harm to others
  • Unauthorised possession or malicious destruction of Team property
  • Failure to heed or comply with verbal/written warning
  • Sexually inappropriate suggestions, gestures and language
  • Failure to comply with directions set by team leadership
  • Failure to comply with reasonable directions given by OIC on incident ground
  • Any publication, communication or action that brings the team into disrepute  

Disciplinary Procedures

The Hutt City Emergency Response Team is a team that conducts itself in a responsible and professional manner at all times.  Team members hold themselves to a high standard and expect all members to act professionally at all times. Any team member who is the subject of a complaint with have that complaint fully investigated by the team leadership.

Should the complaint be upheld it will be categorised into the following categories;

  • Minor
  • Misconduct
  • Serious misconduct

If a probationary or team member is thought to be in breach of team standard of conduct, that member will appear before disciplinary hearing panel, consisting of:

  • Team Leader
  • Deputy Team Leader
  • Team Manager

If either the team leader, deputy team leader or the team manager breaches the standard of conduct, the management committee will appoint a substitute to replace the defendant on the disciplinary panel.

If the Team leader, Deputy Team leader or team manager is a complainant the management committee will appoint a suitable replacement to take their place on the disciplinary panel.

The member called to the disciplinary panel may bring a support person.

The initial investigation will be conducted informally, with both sides having the opportunity to call others who witnessed the events in question to describe what they saw. This meeting is to establish the facts and determine the seriousness of the complaint.  

Following the investigation the matter will either be resolved or the complaint will be categorised and the process will proceed to a formal disciplinary meeting. The outcome of this meeting will depend on the seriousness of the complaint and the potential outcomes will be explained.

A formal disciplinary meeting will then take place and outcomes determined.

The process flowchart is described in appendix 1.

Reasons for a disciplinary hearing include, but are not limited to:

  • Any behaviour in public by a team member (identifiable as such) that brings the team into disrepute.
  • Failure to follow instructions of the team leader or a person delegated by the team leader. Any safety concerns about those instructions will be considered at the disciplinary hearing).
  • Reckless/unnecessary breaches of safety procedures.
  • Failure to perform assigned operational or administrative duties adequately.
  • Failure to attend a minimum of training events.

Penalties imposed by a hearing may include:

  • Verbal warning.
  • Formal written warning.
  • Implementation of a performance improvement plan.
  • Stand down from team for a period of time.
  • Being relieved of a particular operational or administrative role within a team.
  • Requirement to attend more than the minimum number of training sessions.
  • Dismissal from team.

Disciplinary Appeal Procedure

Should the member feel that they have reason for a personal grievance regarding the disciplinary action, the member should provide a written statement to this effect to the Hutt City Emergency Response Team management committee, the committee will seek independent review of the decision and initiate an internal review of the process, this process will be independent of the disciplinary committee.


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