Plans for the new Auckland Super City, merging 8 local authorities, meant amalgamation, too, of the present rural Fire Authorities. Confronted with this change, about a dozen Rural Fire Forces (RFFs) throughout greater Auckland asked the UFBA to assist with advocacy as the plans emerged for the new, enlarged, rural fire entity.
As communication developed, concerns were listed and a strategy developed, other RRFs joined until the group now involves all those most affected by Super City changes.
The UFBA listened to the worries expressed, wrote them up, had the thrust and detail of the document confirmed with the participants and forwarded their submission to the body legally responsible for engineering change in Auckland, the Transition Authority.
The RFFs’ main theme is that, in the new Auckland city, they want to continue serving their communities just as they are now: nearly all have geared up to attend structure fires, vehicle crashes, medical call-outs and a wide range of other emergencies. They want acknowledgment, recognition and funding to ensure they can carry on after the changes associated with the Super City. They also say there’s the spectre of an Enlarged Fire District on the horizon.
The UFBA, on their behalf, put a proposition that particularly suited urban-rural fringe areas - the type of settlement many of these RFFs serve - providing something of a model that might suit other RFFs elsewhere in New Zealand serving similar communities. The proposal includes RFFs exclusively rural.
While most of the Auckland RFFs are reserving their right to consider other options, advocacy continues as the architecture for the Super City evolves and, later, matters will be taken up with the elected Mayor and Councillors and the City Executives to put the RFFs’ collective case.
Click here for the Auckland RFFs’ submission: The New Auckland City: A Model for Rural Fire and Emergency Services.
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