FENZ seeks feedback on proposed levy adjustments

Government and insurance industry insights revealed

FENZ seeks feedback on proposed levy adjustments

Catastrophe & Flood

By Roxanne Libatique

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) is seeking feedback on its proposed adjustments to the Fire and Emergency levy scheduled for the fiscal term running from July 1, 2026, through June 30, 2029.

As the principal authority for fire safety and emergency responses across the nation, FENZ relies significantly on funding from levies collected on insurance policies, including those covering homes, vehicles, and business premises.

The method of financing fire services in New Zealand through insurance levies has been in place since the 1970s. The current discourse invites stakeholders, including individuals paying levies, holders of insurance policies, and the broader public with a stake in the proposed adjustments, to submit their viewpoints in writing.

Proposed adjustments to Fire and Emergency levy

The proposal suggests a 5.2% increase in the levy to ensure the continuance of FENZ's services as currently delivered. It also recommends a re-evaluation of the levy distribution among various insurance policy categories to better mirror the services provided and the incidents attended by FENZ.

The feedback collected during this consultation will be instrumental in shaping the government's final decision on the levy rates for the aforementioned period.

Feedback on proposed adjustments to Fire and Emergency levy

The suggestion to amend the levy has prompted scrutiny from government officials.

Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden has raised questions regarding the necessity of an additional increase in the levy. She acknowledged the essential services provided by FENZ but emphasised the importance of demonstrating fiscal responsibility.

“I am seeking a commitment from Fire and Emergency NZ (FENZ) to cost savings where appropriate to keep levies affordable for New Zealand households and businesses,” she said, as reported by RNZ. “It is levy payers – individuals, households, and businesses – who will pay for any increase."

Last month, the Insurance Council of New Zealand called for an overhaul of the current Fire and Emergency levy, specifically funding FENZ through general taxation.

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