On Sunday 1 July, we mark one year of Fire and Emergency NZ. Click here to see what we have accomplished already, while continuing to respond to fires and emergencies.

Fire control powers

This Sunday is also the day when a number of our new, or expanded, legislative powers around risk reduction come into effect.

For the communities we serve, this means they no longer go to their local council for urban fire permits or to make a complaint about a potential fire hazard.

We have powers to order removal of fire hazards

Members of the public (and territorial authorities) will be able to report potential fire hazards on land in their community using an online form or by calling 0800 336 942 (FENZHA).  These are available on our website(external link) in the ‘At home’ section.

We are responsible for issuing fire permits nationally

We, not Territorial Authorities, will be responsible for issuing fire permits anywhere in New Zealand, in urban and rural areas, including for public conservation land.

A new online fire permitting system is being developed and will be available through www.checkitsalright.nz(external link) later in the year, allowing people to check current fire seasons, apply for a fire permit, or renew a fire permit. 

Find out more about the fire control changes on the Portal.

New evacuation procedures and schemes

New regulations come into effect, providing a new foundation for fire precaution measures and the safe, prompt and efficient evacuation of people in the case of a fire, or fire alarm.

The Fire Information Unit (FIU) will administer applications, with final approvals being carried out by Area Managers or Fire Risk Management Officers. This is the same process as now - the main change is that the maintenance of schemes (monitoring of trial evacuations and training programmes) will be centralised to the FIU. 

Find out more about these changes on the Portal.

Consultation on proposed Operating Model and Volunteer Strategy

July 1 also marks the day we embark on the second of our three-year integration programme. Our focus will be developing our Operating Model and Volunteer Strategy. These will directly affect the way we work, and will have future implications for structures and roles.

We need to get this right and we want you to have your say so we’re running two rounds of consultation. There will be plenty of ways for people to make submissions on the proposals. This includes in writing, online, and face to face.

Consultation round 1

The first round will start on 24 August and run for eight weeks, ending 19 October 2018.

This round is about what we do and how we do it. It is important that we are clear on this before we look at any changes to our organisational structure and the roles within it. It will include things like:

  • What functions Fire and Emergency should fulfil, and how they will work together. For example, specialist response, community resilience, training, policy, and organisational planning 
  • The draft Volunteer Strategy  
  • And how we make sure the services we provide are targeted to meet community risks. 

We will, at the same time, consult with our senior leaders about proposed changes to the functions of the Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) so that any changes are in place before the next round.

Remember that this round of consultation does not include any proposed changes to organisational structure or roles (other than SLT) – this will take place in Round Two.

Consultation round 2

The second consultation, in early 2019, will propose more detail about any changes to jobs, reporting lines and the like. We don’t have a view on those yet, nor have we set the consultation dates, as they will be informed by the feedback we receive from the first round.

More information

Our leaders have been involved in developing the proposed Operating Model and Volunteer Strategy, and they are being briefed about the consultation process. If you have any questions, talk to them, check out leaders’ resources on the Portal, or email myvoice@fireandemergency.nz.

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