Federated Farmers Submission on Proposed Regulations to Support Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Federated Farmers has always taken a keen interest in the management of fire, particularly rural and vegetation fire. Our members face significant risk to their personal safety and that of their property from vegetation or structural fires, but benefit economically and environmentally from the use of controlled fire in their businesses. Farmers, foresters and by extension the entire community, benefit hugely from the use of controlled fire to dispose of waste, clear land for grazing or cultivating and managing fuel loading. Fire is therefore a vital land management tool for our members.

Federated Farmers has some concerns with the amalgamation of the Fire Service, the key purpose of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bill, but we support the intent to construct a new organisation with a revised and renewed mandate for fire and non-fire emergencies in both rural and urban areas. We would, however, like to express concern that it is absolutely vital that, both in the drafting of the legislation and the regulations, and in the implementation of Government’s policy objectives, that the key differences between rural and urban fire are acknowledged and respected.

In this submission Federated Farmers will provide feedback on the proposed levy exemptions, information required by levy payers, fire plans and whether regulations are needed for local committees that Fire and Emergency New Zealand will establish.