Fire Services Transition

Policy agreed for Amendment Bill, changes to levy regulations, enforcement regime and fire plans (August 2018)

On 13 August 2018, Cabinet approved the policy for:

  • a bill to amend the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017;

  • changes to levy regulations, and also approved the public release of a draft of the regulations; and

  • regulations for FENZ’s enforcement regime, and fire plans.

The amendment bill will, among other matters, delay commencement of the new levy regime to 1 July 2020. The amendment bill is expected to be introduced into the House in late 2018, and to be passed before 1 July 2019. The draft levy regulations are being released now to give the public certainty of how the new levy regime will work. They are expected to be finalised when the new levy rate is set in 2019. The infringement offences and fire plans regulations are expected to be approved in late 2018.

Paper one: Policy approval for Fire and Emergency New Zealand Amendment Bill

Paper two: Additional policy decisions and release of public exposure draft for Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Levy) Regulations 2019

Paper three: Policy approval for Fire and Emergency New Zealand regulations (enforcement regime and fire plans)

Operations and Performance Review – New Zealand Fire Service Commission (September 2018)

As part of the integration of New Zealand’s urban and rural fire services into Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Cabinet requested a review be conducted into the operations and performance of the New Zealand Fire Service (now Fire and Emergency New Zealand). The Operations and Performance Review (the review) was conducted in two phases by Price Waterhouse Coopers.

The review reflected the situation at the time, and there are many changes underway as part of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Integration Programme. Fire and Emergency New Zealand is addressing the improvements suggested in the report through activities such as:

  • developing a Strategic Blueprint 2017-2020 and Fire and Emergency New Zealand Strategy 2019-2030;
  • modifying the outcomes framework to include strategic priorities (including adding them to the Statements of Performance Expectations);
  • reviewing the process for planning to develop an integrated planning, budgeting and reporting cycle;
  • increasing the size of Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s Strategy and Performance team to support strategic and business planning; and
  • closely examining the condition of assets and the level of investment that is needed in the rural fire services.

Operations and Performance Review Phase 1: performance in 2015/16 (PDF, 518KB)

Operations and Performance Review Phase 2: planning and budgeting in 2016/17 and identifying benefits (PDF, 2.5KB)

The terms of reference for the review can be found here: Terms of Reference for financial and operational review of the NZ Fire Service

Policy for Fire Safety and Evacuation of Building regulations agreed (December 2017)

On 20 December 2017, Cabinet agreed the policy for Fire Safety and Evacuation of Building regulations. These regulations will now be drafted and will go to Cabinet for approval as soon as possible.

Proposals for Fire and Emergency New Zealand regulations
(fire safety and evacuation of buildings, and offences and penalties)

This discussion document was released by the Minister for consultation. It covers proposals for the replacement of the Fire Safety and Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 2006, and the development of offences and penalties.

Public consultation ran for six weeks. Submissions closed on 8 September 2017.

Read the discussion document here:

Policy for levy exemptions and transitional levy relief agreed

On 31 July 2017, Cabinet agreed the policy for key elements of the new levy regime to commence on 1 January 2019:

  • exemptions from the levy for certain classes of property and certain kinds of insurance;
  • transitional levy relief, to ease the transition to the new regime for large policyholders facing significant levy increases;
  • the calculation of levy on contracts of insurance which cover different classes of property which are levied in different ways; and
  • information to be provided by levy payers when making levy returns.

These regulations will now be drafted and will go to Cabinet for approval as soon as possible.

Cabinet Paper: Policy Approval for Fire and Emergency New Zealand Levy Regulations (PDF, 1MB)

Cabinet Minute: EGI-17-MIN-0195 (PDF, 1MB)

Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bill enacted

The Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bill received Royal assent on 11 May 2017 to become the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act.  It establishes Fire and Emergency New Zealand as of 1 July 2017, and marks the most significant change to the fire sector for 70 years.

Read the Minister’s media release 4/5/17: Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bill passes Third Reading
(Beehive website)
Read the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 (Legislation website)

Fire and Emergency Levy Regulations (levy rates and information requirements in transitional period)

Minister's media release 29/3/2017: Levy rates for fire and emergency services announced
(Beehive website)

Fire and Emergency Levy Cabinet Papers

Cabinet Paper: Regulations to support Fire and Emergency New Zealand (PDF, 770KB)

Cabinet Minute: EGI-17-MIN-0039 (PDF, 122KB)

Fire and Emergency Levy Discussion Document

13 March 2017

Internal Affairs Minister, Peter Dunne, released a discussion document on new levy regulations as part of the reforms of the fire services sector.

Read the discussion document:

Fill in your electronic submission here: Submission Form - WORD (DOCX, 81KB)

You will need to save the document to your PC and type in the fields. Email or post to the address below.

Submissions closed Wednesday 19 April 2017

Submissions can be submitted via email or post:

Select Committee reports back on Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bill

The Government Administration Committee has reported back the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bill. The Bill establishes a single, unified fire services organisation for New Zealand.
The Bill now awaits a second reading in Parliament.
Read the Bill, as reported from the Select Committee
Read a summary of key changes to the Bill for territorial authorities’ role in fire services:

Terms of reference - Operations and performance review NZ Fire Service Commission

Following an extensive review of New Zealand’s Fire Services, Cabinet agreed to a unified, national fire service that fully integrates New Zealand’s urban and rural fire services. The entity will be called Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ).

Cabinet also agreed that a comprehensive financial and operational performance review of the New Zealand Fire Service Commission be undertaken by independent reviewers to inform key funding and performance-setting decisions for the Commission.

Terms of Reference for that review can be found here:

Independent reviewers have been selected though a competitive tender process in accordance with government procurement process.

Fire and Emergency Discussion Document

Internal Affairs Minister, Peter Dunne has today released a discussion document on new fire services regulations as part of the reforms of the fire services sector.

Read the Minister’s media release  (Beehive website)

Read the discussion document:

Proposed regulations to support Fire and Emergency New Zealand - July 2016 - WORD version (.DOCX, 436KB)

Proposed regulations to support Fire and Emergency New Zealand - July 2016 - PDF version (.PDF, 1.7MB)

Fill in your electronic submission here:
You will need to save the document to your PC, type in the fields.

Submission Form - WORD (.DOCX, 65KB)

Submission Form - PDF (.PDF, 1.7MB) 

Submissions close Thursday 18 August 2016.

Submissions can be submitted via email or post:

Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bill passes first reading

The Bill to  modernise New Zealand’s fire services has passed its first reading and heralds the most significant change in the sector for 70 years. 

Read the Minister’s media release 5/7/2016 (Beehive website)

Read the Minister's speech (Beehive website)

Fire and Emergency NZ Legislation Introduced

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne has introduced legislation to combine New Zealand’s rural and urban fire service into a single organisation.

Read the Minister’s media release 30/06/2016 (Beehive website)

Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bill (PDF, 131 pages)

General policy statement (PDF, 80KB)

Disclosure statement (Legislation website)

Regulatory Impact Statements

Funding and policy for new fire services organisation agreed

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne has announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine New Zealand’s urban and rural fire services into Fire and Emergency New Zealand from mid-2017.

Timeline for transition

Fire and Emergency New Zealand will be set up in mid-2017. The initial transition work will focus on what must be achieved for the new organisation to be legally unified by that time as well as other important work necessary to get off to a good start.

The dates on this timeline could change, depending on the Parliamentary process, but we will update this timeline if they do change and explain why.

Timeline of the Fire Services transition. Click on the image for a larger version.

Email your questions

As the sector continues to work together to design Fire and Emergency New Zealand, it’s essential that you’re kept informed as things unfold. If you can’t find the information you need on these pages please ask your manager (if you are in the fire services) or email FireServicesTransition@dia.govt.nz.

We will respond directly to you.

Latest update on the transition

Minister sets out expectations for Board’s management of the transition

The Minister of Internal Affairs Peter Dunne has released his Letter of Expectations to the Board of the Commission so everyone can see what the priorities are for both business as usual operations, and for the transition to the new organisation, Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

Read the letter here: Letter of Expectations to the Board of the Commission (May 2016) (.pdf) 530KB

New line-up will lead big changes ahead in the fire services sector (17/03/2016)

The Minister of Internal Affairs Peter Dunne announced a new chair and new members for the Board of the New Zealand Fire Service Commission.

The Hon Paul Swain was appointed as chair of the new Board:

More information about the decision and the background

For updates and further information see the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Project website

Read more about the decision to amalgamate New Zealand’s fire services, resulting from the Fire Services Review.

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