Bill to extend FENZ transitional levy passed

Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s (FENZ) funding is now secure for five years, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin says.

“This time will allow for a first-principles review of how FENZ is funded,” the Minister says. “The Government wants to look at the funding structure of FENZ to see if we can provide a stable, simple funding system that is fair to individuals and businesses.”

The Minister’s comments follow the Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Levy) Amendment Bill passing its third reading and receiving Royal assent.

The legislation ensures that FENZ will continue to be funded beyond 1 July 2019 and extends the transitional levy provisions currently in place through to 1 July 2024.

“This means that present arrangements will largely continue, and people will not notice any difference to what they are paying in levies in the immediate future,” Mrs Martin says.

“The establishment of FENZ has gone well and New Zealanders are beginning to see the benefits of a modern, unified fire and emergency service.

“However, the Government considers that there may be better ways to fund such an important organisation.”

The Amendment Bill also exempts collections of cultural heritage items from the fire and emergency levy from 1 July 2019. “This ensures that museums are not paying a disproportionate amount of levy on the taonga they preserve and exhibit for our communities,” the Minister says.

“The Bill also clarifies that the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is exempt from levy. This exemption recognises NZDF’s firefighting capability and contribution to the community.”

More information, and a copy of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Levy) Amendment Bill, can be found on the Parliament website.

ENDS

Media contact:

Richard Ninness 021 892 536