FENZ Funding review – impacts for Māori

We recommend you first read the high-level impact guide. This guide supplements the high-level guide and focuses on possible impacts that are unique for Māori – above or beyond those Māori might face as homeowners or tenants, motorists, or business owners.

The Fire and Emergency levy is collected alongside insurance premiums by insurance companies and passed on to Fire and Emergency. The Government is seeking your views on any possible implications if a change is made to how the levy is collected.

One option being considered is to move the collection point for the levy to the owner of a property or motor vehicle. This would be like the way local body rates are collected for properties and vehicle licencing (i.e. rego).

What impacts are unique to Māori?

There are potential issues with this kind of change for collectively owned Māori land.

For example:

  • collective ownership might make it difficult to establish who should pay the levy;
  • Māori may own the land, but not the assets associated with it (e.g. a forest or farm); and
  • There may be additional costs where existing buildings or assets are not insured but are within the scope of the new levy.

We are interested in understanding your initial views on how any levy should be applied on Māori land. Should the Government choose to move to a property-based levy, there would be further targeted consultation on how this would work for Māori land.

What other impacts might be of interest to Māori

Although not unique to Māori, the following impacts may be of interest:

  • Impacts on large property portfolio holders – particularly for larger post-settlement iwi, this may be an area of interest depending on how they manage their insurance.
  • Impact on rural and remote businesses and communities – many rural businesses have some form of exemption from the transitional levy but this means there is currently little focus on cost recovery for rural fire services.
  • Impact on uninsured households, businesses and vehicle owners – moving from an insurance-based levy to a property-based levy would likely increase costs for those currently uninsured.

In the next phase of the review we’ll look at the actual levy rate and what kind of caps or exemptions might be appropriate. As such, while it is difficult to say at this point what the cost impacts will be, there will be an opportunity to have your say on the new rate and possible exemptions in the future. In the meantime, the levy rate and who it applies to won’t change.

Return to Fire and Emergency New Zealand Funding Review