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FIRE: Consultation on operation of new fire services

Posted 6/7/2016

06 JULY: Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne has released a discussion document on new fire services regulations as part of the reform of the fire services sector. Legislation before Parliament will establish a new organisation, Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ), on 1 July 2017 amalgamating rural and urban fire services.

The current fire services legislation dates from the 1970s and will be replaced by the new Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bill, which would allow FENZ to set regulations to govern its day to day operations.

“The public has six weeks give feedback on detailed elements of the funding regime for the new organisation, including what information should be provided by levy payers,” said Mr Dunne. The consultation closes on 18 August.

“The current schedule of exemptions from the fire levy will not appear in the Bill and instead, any exemptions will be established by regulations.  Feedback is sought on what property should be exempt from the levy and what principles should underline the exemption-making process,” Mr Dunne said.

The legislation establishes local committees that will represent the interests and needs of regions to FENZ. Feedback is being sought on whether any further regulation is needed for these committees.

According to the minister, stakeholder input is also required into what, if any, details are required around fire control measures, beyond what is in the legislation.

“The new legislation and this discussion document are important steps forward as we work together to build a 21st century fire service for New Zealand,” said Mr Dunne.

The discussion document and submission form is on the Department of Internal Affairs website.  Feedback should be sent to FireServicesTransition@dia.govt.nz

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