What is Fire Emergency New Zealand?
- It is the most significant change to fire services in 70 years, urban and rural fire services will be amalgamated into one organisation – Fire and Emergency New Zealand – from 1 July 2017.
- The bill to amalgamate New Zealand’s fire services has passed through parliament and will now replace the Fire Service Act 1975 and the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977.
What does this mean?
The fire and other emergency functions of 40 organisations will be amalgamated into Fire and Emergency New Zealand from 1 July 2017.
New Zealand’s fire services are currently made up of:
- The New Zealand Fire Service (which looks after metropolitan and urban areas and includes a number of corporate functions)
- The National Rural Fire Authority – Provides oversight to the Rural Fire authorities
- More than 40 Rural Fire Authorities (including Enlarged Rural Fire Districts and Territorial Authorities).
- These services are delivered by paid and volunteer personnel alongside contractors in rural areas.
- The Department of Conservation, New Zealand Defence Force, and industry fire brigades at places like airports and factories also provide fire services, but will not become part of Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
Who does the public call?
- Emergency numbers are not changing.
- The public should still call 111 ask for Fire as per usual
- The 111 system will remain the same.
What will FENZ look like?
What will it mean for you?
- Very little will change, you will see logos and branding changes.
- There will be no difference in the way they currently operate the trial evacuation system in the short to mid term.
- All areas of the fire service are being reviewed however it's primarily an operational change.
Legislation around Fire evacuation schemes
- Essentially remains the same however anyone who knowingly fails to comply is committing an offence under the FENZ Act – an individual has the potential to face a term of imprisonment not exceeding 6 months and or a fine not exceeding $75,000. In any other case, they face a fine not exceeding $150,000.
- FENZ will also be able to revoke the approval of, or require the variation of, any approved evacuation scheme at any time.
- Continued failure to comply or maintain schemes may see FENZ apply to the court to have the building closed until such time as a fully compliant evacuation scheme is in place. This power always existed, however they now have greater ability to enforce these regulations.