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New levy rates to fund Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Posted 30/3/2017

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne has announced new levy rates that will fund Fire and Emergency New Zealand. From 1 July, Fire and Emergency New Zealand will bring together volunteer and paid, urban and rural firefighters under a national emergency service.

Following public consultation on levy rates in November 2016, Cabinet has this week approved the new rates, which will come into effect on 1 July 2017:

New Zealanders with house and contents insurance will see their levy increase by approximately $0.70 per week, which is an additional $36 per year. The total levy on house and contents insurance will increase to $127.20 per year.

Car insurance will increase by approximately $0.05 per week, which is an additional $2.37 per year.
The total levy on car insurance will now be $8.45 per year.

“Some commercial and public entities will face larger increases, though the new legislation will allow for certain measures to address affordability and fairness concerns that were raised during the consultation process," said the minister.

“Local government will also no longer fund the costs of rural fire services, approximately $30 million nationally, from local rates.

“The Government expects local government to return these savings to ratepayers as a consequence,” said Mr Dunne.

“This comprehensive reform involves bringing together 40 organisations and over 14,000 volunteer and paid, urban and rural firefighters and personnel under one umbrella. It will deliver a flexible, modern, and efficient fire and emergency service that is fit-for-purpose not just for this year, but for the future.”

“This new levy rate will allow for improved support to volunteer firefighters, and will help to ‘close the gap’ in rural communities where fire and emergency services have been underfunded for years."

Fire and Emergency New Zealand personnel will have a legal mandate for all firefighting work, including responding to medical emergencies, natural disasters, road accidents, hazardous substance incidents, and urban search and rescue.

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