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Parliament passes fire service bill

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/05/2017

© SNPA Parliament has passed the legislation that creates Fire and Emergency New Zealand, a single, national organisation that merges urban, rural, paid and volunteer firefighting services.

The bill passed its final stage, a third reading, by 105 votes to 12 on Thursday.

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne, who was in charge of the huge restructure, said it was the culmination of 70 years of reviews and reforms.

"This Bill, and the reform it represents, has been a very long time in the making. It will ensure New Zealand has a modern, fit for purpose, and well-funded fire service," he said.

"This is a firefighting service for the future."

The new organisation will be created on July 1 this year.

It will be funded solely through insurance levies, replacing a variety of sources.

The levy on house and contents insurance will increase by $36 a year, or 70 cents a week, to $127.

NZ First voted against the bill after criticising the levy increase.

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