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New Fire and Rescue legislation

Thu, 2 Dec 2004

New Fire and Rescue legislation

NZ's fire and rescue services and their future is the subject of a just-released public discussion document, and the public are being asked what they think

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Internal Affairs Minister George Hawkins today called for public submissions on the future of fire and rescue services based on a public discussion document on new fire and rescue legislation.

Mr Hawkin's Department released the discussion document today.

Mr Hawkins said new laws are needed to recognise the new tasks being taken on by the Fire Service, especially in rescue work. The government was working closely with local government and fire sector organizations to ensure that a robust new framework would be developed.

"There are also inconsistencies between urban and rural fire systems. We need to resolve these".

Next year a second discussion document will examine the funding options for these services.

"Our fire services depends heavily on volunteer firefighters," said Mr Hawkins. "We will need to ensure their efforts are encouraged and maintained, while utilising the services of paid firefighters to full advantage. I'm particularly keen to hear the views of firefighters, both voluntary and paid, to help ensure we get the best possible system for the future".

The discussion document will be distributed to people and organisations with an interest in fire and rescue services and will be available on request from the Department of Internal Affairs. It will also be on the Department's website (www.dia.govt.nz).

Submissions should be made to the Department of Internal Affairs, Box 805, Wellington by 31 March 2005.

ENDS


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