Brigade’s fundraising video ’caused offence’

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THE Te Anau Volunteer Fire Brigade is “gutted” the fundraising video it shared online caused offence.

Its video was just one of many created during recent weeks to show support for the Southland Charity Hospital and its Buy a Brick Campaign to allow work on the building to start.

On the brigade’s social media page last week, a message was posted stating it had been asked to remove the video.

“Sorry folks, we have been asked to remove our fundraising video as it has caused offence, for which we apologise unreservedly.

“It was never our intention to cause any offence. To say we are gutted would be an understatement.”

A commenter who had seen the video before its removal told the Southland Express it featured firefighters performing a “mock catwalk” to the Right Said Fred song, I’m Too Sexy

It did not involve anything offensive, apart from “the odd shirt off and a bit of gyrating”, she said.

A Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz) spokesman said the organisation fully supported brigades getting involved in community initiatives.

“However, our brigades’ actions must meet our organisational values and our commitment to ensuring all people inside and outside Fire and Emergency New Zealand are respected, valued and supported.”

While many brigades ran their own social media pages, they were representing Fenz, and content that failed to uphold its organisational values could be removed.

“While we understand that there was some disappointment from the [Te Anau] brigade about the removal of the video, it is important everyone involved with Fire and Emergency meets our organisational values.”

Fenz wanted to “work alongside our people to ensure they are supported and understand any actions taken”.

A Southland Charity Hospital spokeswoman said the hospital was very grateful for the support it had received from the community, including from numerous fire brigades.

“We have not been involved in discussions with Fenz regarding the video’s content,” she said.

Just last month, Winton’s Fire Brigade posted its own fundraising video

Suited up and making use of the fireman’s pole, firefighters got their grove on to Bruno Mars’ hit song Uptown Funk, which viewers praised in online comment sections.

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