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Consultation On The Fire And Emergency Levy Is Now Open

Fire and Emergency New Zealand has started a public consultation today on the proposed Fire and Emergency levy for the period 1 July 2026 - 30 June 2029.

Fire and Emergency, New Zealand’s trusted national fire authority and an emergency first responder for most communities, is funded almost entirely through levies on home, contents, non-residential and vehicle insurance policies.

New Zealanders have been funding their fire services through levies paid on insurance policies since the 1970s. We are now consulting on new levy arrangements and the activities we plan to undertake during the levy period.

We are seeking written submissions on our proposal from levy payers, insurance policy holders, their representatives, and any members of the public who may be affected by, or have an interest in, the proposed changes to our levy or any changes to our services.

Our proposal includes a 5.2 percent increase in the overall levy amount to ensure we can continue to deliver the same services in the same way as we do now. We are also proposing to change how we apply the levy across the different and eligible insurance policy types. This is to improve equity and better reflect the incidents that we are responding to.

Feedback provided will inform the Government’s decisions on the final levies for 2026-2029.

More information on this consultation and how to submit a response can be found on our website at

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The consultation closes on 17 May 2024 at 5 pm.

Information for editors

About Fire and Emergency

Fire and Emergency is New Zealand’s trusted national fire authority and an emergency first responder.

We have more than 15,000 personnel (both volunteers and paid) in 643 brigades in communities across the country.

Our purpose is to protect and preserve lives, property and the environment.

We are directed by the Fire and Emergency Act (2017), which brought more than 40 fire services together into one national fire authority and emergency first response organisation.

The Act sets out our activities and how we are funded.

The Fire and Emergency Act states that we must:

- deliver fire safety, fire prevention, and fire response activities

- respond to incidents involving hazardous substances

- rescue people trapped as a result of transport accidents or other incidents

- provide urban search and rescue.

We are the only fire authority in New Zealand. We set the fire standards, issue approvals and permits, and enforce compliance with those regulations and standards.

Our legislation says we can assist in other matters if we have the capability and capacity to do so, but we must make sure that this isn’t at the expense of delivering our main functions.

We can assist with:

- responding to medical emergencies

- responding to maritime incidents

- performing other types of rescues

- providing assistance at transport accidents (for example, crash scene cordoning and traffic control), severe weather-related events, natural hazard events, and disasters.

About the levy

The Fire and Emergency Act says we must be funded by a levy and that the levy should be stable, universal, equitable, predictable and flexible.

Almost all of our funding comes from this levy.

The amount of levy paid depends on the types of insurance policies held. And each type of insurance policy contributes a proportion of the overall amount.

Currently, we receive 7.3 percent of our levy from motor vehicle policies, 33.4 percent from residential property and personal property (contents) policies, and 59.3 percent from non-residential property policies.

The levy rates applied when Fire and Emergency was established were based on those for the New Zealand Fire Service. The range of activities we are responsible for as Fire and Emergency is significantly broader and more complex. We need levy arrangements that reflect Fire and Emergency, and the expectations the public has of us.

What are we proposing to change in 2026?

We are proposing to increase the amount of levy we collect by 5.2 percent.

We are seeking this increase in revenue so we can keep up with our risk reduction, readiness and response activities and deliver the same services we do now.

We are also proposing to make levy payments more equitable. We are proposing to share the costs differently amongst policy holders and we proposing to change levy rates and caps. This means eligible policy holders might not pay more overall, even if the amount we need to collect increases.

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