Hon. Paul Swain.

Source: Hon Paul Swain, chair New Zealand Fire Review Panel – Public urged to have their say on fire services

Hon. Paul Swain.
Hon. Paul Swain.

The Hon Paul Swain has endorsed the discussion document released recently on options for modernising New Zealand’s fire services.

Mr Swain wants people to have their say on how fire services should be managed and run to ensure they meet the needs of both urban and rural communities.

“We have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make sure we have fire services that are fit for the 21st century, and that operate seamlessly with all the other emergency service providers,” he said.  “More importantly, whatever option is chosen, the discussion document has identified the need for more support for volunteer firefighters.”

Mr Swain lead an earlier review of the fire services in 2012.  However the scope of the Fire Review Panel did not include funding or the employment frameworks.  In response to the Panel’s report, the Government asked for a wider review that included those issues.

“This wider exploration, responding to and building on our work, has resulted in this excellent Discussion Document, and a robust set of options for change,” he said.

 

“My colleagues and I are delighted to see it’s driving in the same direction that we identified in our report in 2012,” said Mr Swain.

The Discussion Document looks at mandate and governance, legislation modernisation, funding, rural and urban fire services structures, coordination with other emergency services, and volunteer and workforce engagement and support.

“I urge people to look at the options and to put forward their views on what fire services they need in their own local communities.” 

The Discussion Document and advice on making a submission are on the Department of Internal Affairs’ website, www.dia.govt.nz .  Submissions close on 10 July 2015.

Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.