Bill introduced to extend transitional FENZ levy

A bill that will extend the transitional levy rate for Fire and Emergency New Zealand to 30 June 2020 was introduced to Parliament today by Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.

The Minister said that the introduction of a new levy regime – which applies to homeowners and businesses and is collected through insurance premiums - is a large undertaking and it is important that it is done right.

“There are technical issues that need to be thought through and we want to have more information about what FENZ’s costs are before setting the new levy rates to fund it.”

The Minister said that the bill means that levy payers will continue to pay the amounts they currently do until the introduction of the new levy regime from 1 July 2020.

Rural and urban fire services were unified across the country into a national organisation, Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ), in mid-2017 and a transitional levy regime was established.

At the time the Government decided to delay the introduction of the levy until the new national organisation was well established.

“It was originally planned that a new levy regime would take effect from 1 July 2019, but this date will be extended.

“This is a short, sharp bill. It deals with the commencement date for the new levy regime, and we are introducing it now because it must be passed prior to 1 July 2019. It also contains a small number of consequential changes, such as bringing forward the planned levy exemption for the collections of public museums, public art galleries and whare taonga.”

A further tranche of amendments, that will finalise the details of the new levy regime, will be promoted through a second bill to be introduced next year.

“Our legislation must enable FENZ to serve the New Zealand public in the best way possible,” Tracey Martin said.

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

ENDS

Contact: Richard Ninness 021 892 536