We are rolling out new fire plans across New Zealand, and are currently consulting on fire plans in 16 local areas. The development and consultation of these plans are a requirement of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 (the Act).

A fire plan outlines policies and procedures, specific to a local region, for the management of public safety, and fire risks. Each fire plan outlines things like declaring the beginning and end of fire seasons, prohibiting and restricting fire use, and the issuing of fire permits.

Fire plans also provide increased transparency to the public about how our fire control powers are used. When developing these local fire plans, we carefully consider the fire-risk areas and conditions specific to each local area.

Late last year, Fire and Emergency undertook a public consultation on fire plans in three trial areas (Northland, Hawke’s Bay and Otago) using a new template, which was the first step in the rollout of fire plans nationwide.

We received constructive feedback from members of these communities and partner agencies through our first consultation. This feedback was assessed from the submissions received and incorporated where appropriate into the updated fire plan template.

Our teams have developed new fire plans for the whole country using the new template, and updated the first three trial fire plans based on the new template, for public consultation.

Before the establishment of the Act, fire plans were developed for rural fire districts only, as required by the Forest and Rural Fire Regulations 2005.

The most significant changes from previous fire plans are that:

  • The fire control measures will now apply in rural and urban locations, without necessarily having defined ’rural’ and ‘urban’ zones.
  • They do not include detail on response and resourcing activities and resourcing, including contact information for contracted services. This information is captured separately in other planning processes or documents.
  • Fire plans now reflect the Local Advisory Committee (LAC) boundaries.

The public and interested organisations are invited to have their say on the proposed new fire plans through our external website. You can find more information on the consultation here(external link). Submissions close on 9 June 2021 at 5pm.

If you have any questions on the development of local fire plans, you can email fireplans@fireandemergency.nz.

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