Fire fighting in New Zealand - a need for rationalisation?
In recent years issues surrounding the New Zealand Fire Service (NZFS) have had more prominence in the New Zealand media than the Fire Service Commission probably feels comfortable with. Scenes of angry and disgruntled fire fighters publicly airing their dissatisfaction with the Fire Service Commission, wholesale resignations, behind the scenes dismissals and an apparent loss of focus on the people who do the job; volunteers and professionals alike; highlighted an organisation apparently in turmoil. The public perception of the current system and the organisation, the NZFS Commission, that manages it, is only a part of the total New Zealand fire management picture. The intricacies of Rural and Urban Fire Management and the roles and responsibilities of the New Zealand Fire Service Commission, Local Authorities, private companies and volunteer groups in funding and delivering fire-fighting services, remain virtually unknown to the general public. The system by which rural fire suppression is part funded by the National Rural Fire Authority (NRFA) and managed on a day to day basis by Local Authorities, Forestry Companies and committees of unequally committed and resourced partners is a classic example of the complex nature of Rural Fire Management. So too is the reliance on volunteers for the delivery of urban fire services in 80% of the country. Highlighting this rather complex and confused situation and offering a recommendation to remedy the problem is the motivation for this project.... [Show full abstract]