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Fire Appliances To Be Cut Across New Zealand

25 September 2001

Fire Appliances To Be Cut Across New Zealand

United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says the Fire Service is planning radical cutbacks in the number of fire appliances throughout the country.

Mr Dunne, who is presently fighting Fire Service plans to close two-thirds of the fire stations in his own electorate, says the threat to fire services is now a national one.

"My information is that the Fire Service wants to cut the number of fire appliances throughout the country by about 100."

"That is an average of cutting just over 10 appliances from each of the 9 fire regions in mainland New Zealand, including Northland which has been savaged by tragic house fires in recent years, where the Fire Service apparently also wants to close down a number of volunteer stations."

"This is all being done under the guise of the national Resource Allocation Model (RAM) and seems to have all the hallmarks once more of the mad scientists being let loose in the laboratory."

"New Zealanders had enough of this experimentation during the days of the ill-fated Estall Fire Service Commission and were expecting a period of stability and consolidation under the current regime."

"Instead, it looks like we are in for more upheaval, with little or no community consultation, at a time when international events demonstrate powerfully the need for well-equipped and resourced fire services to play the lead role in disaster recovery and emergency management."

"Yet, tragically, once more we seem about to embark on a short-sighted theoretical approach that flies in the face of local need and common-sense."

"It is time Internal Affairs Minister George Hawkins stepped out of the shadows and told the Fire Service Commission enough is enough as far as this nonsense is concerned," Mr Dunne says.

Ends

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