Major changes urged for Fire Service

BEN HEATHER
Last updated 10:46 07/02/2013

Relevant offers

Politics

Christchurch City Council opposes plan to give health boards fluoridation power Maori Party co-leaders warn the Labour Party's grip on the Maori seats is loosening Taking a sledgehammer to homelessness Bill English attends Ratana for first time as Prime Minister - and a day earlier than expected 'Labour has to step up' for Maori, Turia says ACT leader David Seymour calls for action on housing affordability US scrapping TPP bad for NZ - English Sugar content too high in nearly half the drinks Kiwis kids can buy, study finds American ex-pats show their colours as hundreds protest Donald Trump's inauguration in Wellington Sam Sachdeva: Greens take the lead as parties prepare candidates for 2017 election

The Fire Service needs a nationwide shake-up, with new powers to collect funding and extra obligations to attend crashes, a review has found.

An independent review panel of the Fire Service found it had no legal obligation to attend crashes despite becoming New Zealand's default rescue agency.

Because of their informal role as rescue respondents, firefighters also had no legal protection if a response went wrong.

''It was of concern to the Panel that New Zealand communities expect the fire services to deliver these services, and indeed rely on them to do so, but that the fire services are neither obligated to deliver them nor is their liability limited if things go wrong.''

Law changes were recommended to spell out the Fire Service's obligation to respond to accidents and limit firefighters' liability.

The panel also recommended new ways for the Fire Service to recover costs of attending fires and rescues.

This would include changing the way the Fire Service charges commercial property owners levies.

A disagreement between the insurance brokers and the Fire Service over levies on commercial property currently being litigated through the courts.

Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain described the report as evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

''Their (Fire Service) roles have expanded to provide a multi-purpose emergency and rescue service so it's important to get the legislation right.''

The Government would consider the recommendations with further decisions expected in March.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Where do you stand on political coat-tail riding?

If it gets marginalised voices into Parliament, I'm for it.

I'm against it - if you don't get the votes, you shouldn't be there.

It's just part of the political game.

Vote Result

Related story: Voters reject riding on the coat-tails

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content