On 1 May 2023, Property Council submitted to Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) on the transitional fire levy increase consultation. FENZ is proposing to increase transitional fire levies by 12.8% for financial years 2024/25 & 2025/26, to fund their recent wage settlement with the New Zealand Professional Fire Fighters Union.
Why this matters to our members?
Property Council advocates for regulatory and tax settings that are both fit for purpose and fundamentally equitable. FENZ provides a crucial public service to the property sector and wider New Zealand. It is critical that FENZ is funded with an equitable, fit-for-purpose funding regime. The current approach is inequitable and contrary to the legislative funding principles established in the Fire and Emergency Act 2017. As such, and given the significant burden of FENZ levies on the property sector, this topic is of key importance to our members.
While our submission acknowledged the practical requirement to increase the transitional fire levy for FYs 2024/25 & 2025/26, it strongly stressed that it is important to significantly reform the current approach to funding and fire levies, to drive greater equity and efficiency across the system.
At a high level, Property Council recommended that FENZ:
- Raise the current residential insurance cap beyond $100,000;
- Request that the Government ensure that publicly owned property contributes a fair and equitable portion of fire levies;
- Request that the Government implement a more appropriate level of crown contribution to fund public good services delivered by FENZ such as medical responses; and
- Incorporates mandatory reporting of FENZ data on matters such as the cost of delivering different types of call-outs into legislation and/or regulation.