Transparency Statement

Information gathering for regulatory compliance, law enforcement and protective security purposes

Overarching statement

This transparency statement explains how Fire and Emergency New Zealand gathers information for regulatory compliance, law enforcement and protective security purposes.

We gather information for these purposes in relation to:

  • prohibitions and restrictions for fire control (including fire seasons and permits)
  • evacuation procedures and evacuation schemes;
  • pre-incident planning activities, including planning for incidents involving hazardous substances or controlled radiation sources;
  • post-incident analysis activities;
  • assessment of compliance with relevant fire safety legislation, including fire-related matters under the Building Act 2004 and the building code;
  • indoor and outdoor pyrotechnic displays;
  • licensing processes under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012;
  • offences against the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 (Act) and its regulations.

We take care to exercise our information gathering powers lawfully and appropriately, and meet our obligations under the Privacy Act 1993, Search and Surveillance Act 2012, New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017, our Standards of Conduct Policy, the Standards of Integrity and Conduct for the State Sector, and other relevant internal policies and procedures.

This statement applies to information gathered by us, our contractors, or any other third parties we engage.

What information do we collect and why?

The Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act allows us to request, demand, or gather information so that we can deliver our statutory functions, including when monitoring and ensuring regulatory compliance and carrying out law enforcement activities.

We collect information from a wide variety of sources in both physical and digital environments.  These sources include information gathered directly from individuals, physical sources and locations, other agencies or entities, and technical and scientific devices.

In considering how to collect information we take into account a range of factors, including:

  • the official source of the information;
  • the credibility and reliability of the source of the information, where it is not an official source;
  • the impact of the collection on affected individuals;
  • the severity of the harm we are seeking to prevent or address;
  • the intended and possible outcome(s) of the information collection; and
  • the legal principles and constraints that affect our ability to collect, use, and manage information.

Information collected directly

Much of the information we collect is provided voluntarily and directly by people or entities, or their authorised representatives.  

However, where we require information that is relevant to us considering and investigating compliance breaches, complaints, and initiating our own investigations or inquiries, we may gather information from people or entities using our statutory powers.

As part of the use of our statutory powers, and to gather and preserve information and evidence, we may:

  • require information or documents to be provided to us;
  • record an interview conducted in-person or via telephone;
  • take photographs during site visits or inspections; or
  • use specialist equipment.

We may request the assistance of another agency in relation to the exercising of our statutory powers, for example the New Zealand Police.

Information collected from another person or agency

This may include us receiving or requesting information from other people or agencies. Any such information will be gathered in accordance with our statutory powers or other lawful authority and in compliance with the relevant legislation and any information sharing agreements.

We will take all practicable steps to verify information received from third parties.

What do we do with the information?

In order to carry out our law enforcement, protective security and regulatory compliance functions we may use the information we hold as evidence, and for analysis, risk assessment, audit and/or monitoring purposes.

Where we identify the need to use the information further, for example, to consider or investigate compliance breaches, or complaints, or initiate our own investigations or inquiries, we will only do so if required or permitted by law.

We may use information we gather to inform our wider compliance and regulatory strategies.  In doing so we will comply with our obligations in the Privacy Act 1993.

When we share it

We may share information where necessary in order to properly carry out our legislated functions. This information will be shared in accordance with our statutory powers, with appropriate caveats and/or controls, and in compliance with the relevant legislation and any information sharing agreements with another agency. This may include when we are considering and investigating compliance breaches, complaints, and initiating our own investigations or inquiries. We will take all practicable steps to verify information provided to third parties.

We may, for example, share information with:

  • another regulator, oversight agency, or complaints body
  • the other party to a complaint, for the purpose of investigating and resolving the complaint
  • anyone we believe could provide information that is relevant to whether to investigate a complaint, or to an investigation or inquiry, including witnesses to complaint matters
  • the Police or another government agency, if required or authorised by law, or to report significant misconduct or breach of duty or where there is a serious threat to health or safety.

If our staff are threatened or abused, or information appears to us to have been gathered unlawfully, we may refer this to the Police.

How will we protect it?

Information is stored, accessed and retained in accordance with our Privacy Policy, Records Management Policy, ICT Acceptable Use Policy, and our Standards of Conduct Policy, and in compliance with the Privacy Act 1993 and the Public Records Act 2005. 

Feedback and complaints

If you have an inquiry or complaint about our information gathering activities, or believe we have not acted in accordance with this statement, you can find out more about our complaints processes here: https://fireandemergency.nz/contact-us/

Alternatively, you can contact us at:

  • 04 496 3600
  • Fire and Emergency National Headquarters
    PO Box 2133
    Wellington