Why we need Local Advisory Committees

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Why we need Local Advisory Committees

While firefighting remains at the core of our organisation, we are increasing our focus on building resilient communities and reducing consequences of emergencies.

The Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017, the same Act that created our organisation, requires us to set-up Local Advisory Committees. They will provide local and community-focused strategic advice on needs, issues and risks relating to fire and emergency service. This will help capture the voices of communities to identify risks to be better prepared for emergencies, and better able to respond to and recover well when they happen.

What will Local Advisory Committees do?

Local Advisory Committees will help shape Fire and Emergency’s support for your community, by providing a strong local perspective on what matters.

Local Advisory Committees are advisory only, and will not be involved in governance, management or operational decisions.

The role of Local Advisory Committees includes:

  • gathering feedback from a wide range of networks and interests within their communities and using that feedback to provide a strong local perspective on what matters
  • representing the community’s interests, including those of volunteers and industry brigades, when providing advice on Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s national strategy and local planning
  • helping to build a common understanding of local needs and how Fire and Emergency New Zealand can address these at a local level
  • helping Fire and Emergency New Zealand plan for future service delivery 
  • strengthening connections between Fire and Emergency New Zealand and local communities
  • providing local perspectives on risk reduction and enhanced community resilience

How are Local Advisory Committees appointed

The Fire and Emergency New Zealand Board appoints LAC members and chairs/deputy chairs.

Members are a diverse group of people, not necessarily with any previous connection with Fire and Emergency, whose role is to provide links with the broadest possible range of stakeholder networks and interests within the community.

Each Local Advisory Committee has around 5 to 9 members, including a chair and deputy chair.

Appointments are for up to three years, with the possibility of reappointment.

LAC members receive a modest fee for time spent in meetings and on engagement activities.

More detail about what is expected of LAC members can be found in the LAC Terms of Reference.

The video below explains more about the importance of Local Advisory Committees to Fire and Emergency.