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Review of fire service legislation welcomed

Review of fire service legislation welcomed

Local Government New Zealand is looking for greater clarity of functions for the Fire Service and local authorities from the discussion document on the review of fire and rescue legislation released last week by the Department of Internal Affairs.

“The local government sector welcomes a review of this legislation. Fire services are critical to our communities, particularly in rural areas, and we would like to see any review strengthen and further support this vital service,” said Local Government New Zealand’s Chief Executive, Eugene Bowen.

“We will be asking for the functions of both the Fire Service and local authorities to be clearly defined in the new legislation and for the creation of formal ongoing relationships between the Fire Service, local government, emergency management groups and the community.

“The review, which aims to produce an integrated piece of legislation to replace the current Fire Service Act 1975 and the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977, also needs to address the higher level of integration and equity between urban and rural fire services.”

The new legislation will acknowledge the evolving rescue role of the Fire Service and will aim to resolve inconsistencies between urban and rural fire systems.

The review is being carried out by the Department of Internal Affairs, in close consultation with Local Government New Zealand, the Fire Service Commission and government agencies.

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