Dunne's Claim Rejected

  • Jack Elder
Internal Affairs

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Jack Elder says United New Zealand Leader, Peter Dunne, is wrong in suggesting the new Fire Service Commission is illegally constituted.

Mr Elder says he and his advisers were well aware of the requirements of section six of the Fire Service Act in making appointments to the Commission.

"Indeed the Commission, as presently constituted is similar in terms of overall backgrounds and experience to that operating when Mr Dunne was Minister," Mr Elder said. "Is Mr Dunne suggesting that the Commission he was responsible for was also illegally constituted?"

Mr Elder said he was advised by his department that Brian Stanley had senior fire fighting experience and Mrs Bazley's wealth of experience in public administration and as an effective change manager would be of considerable value to the Commission as it continued to progress its Change Plan.

"My advice is that I have the discretion under section six to make a judgement on whether fire engineering experience is required," Mr Elder said. "The need for such a person is not great right now because Roger Estall put considerable effort into fire engineering matters during his term as Chair. The Commission has access to expertise in fire engineering from within the Fire Service and could also contract in such expertise if required. Finally, the Commission's primary requirement at this time is for expertise in change management.

"Mr Dunne should stop wasting the time of the Government's legal and financial advisers by trying to make political capital out of his pointless demands for inquiries and suchlike."