Section 47C of the Fire Service Act, 1975 allows the New Zealand Fire Service Commission to charge for fires outside of urban fire districts. There are two types of fires that may occur :
- Rural Fire Events – A fire on publicly or privately owned land within an area for which is within a Rural Fire Area controlled by DOC or a Rural Fire Authority
- Fires outside of Urban and Rural Fire Districts – Such as those on boats at marinas or vessels arriving into or departing New Zealand waters
How these are calculated
The NZFS seeks to recover its costs from Rural Fire Authorities for fires outside of Urban Fire Districts. These charges are calculated on an hourly basis, in the manner set out below :
- Enroute time to departure time
- Arrival time less enroute time (to reflect the appliance getting back to station). Where an appliance has gone “K7”, then no time is added as the appliance has returned to station
For all Rural Fire events, where specified in a Section 15 agreement with the RFA, the NZFS does not charge for the first hour of attendance from when the first NZFS appliance (paid or volunteer) were enroute. Charging for the incident will start one hour after the first responding appliance leaves the fire station. However, should an appliance leave their station over an hour after the incident begins, it will be charged out for the whole time it is away from its station.
For all fires outside of Urban and Rural Fire Districts, there is no waiving of the first hour of attendance.
The rates used for attendance are as approved by the NZFS Commission annually and reflect the cost of attendance of the NZFS staff, volunteers, equipment and appliances used.
The current rates for attendance at incidents outside of urban and rural fire districts are available on the following link
The current rates for attendance at fires inside rural fire districts are available on the following link
What is charged
Any attendance to deal with a fire outside of an Urban Fire District – including but not limited to a structure fire, hedge, vegetation or forestry fire – is liable to be charged.
The Chief Fire Officer, or their delegate, may make provision for a reduction of up to 50% of the cost of the fire where some of the response relates to the protection of one or more structures within a Rural Fire District.