Local Advisory Committees FAQs

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Local Advisory Committees FAQs

If you have any further questions about joining your Local Advisory Committee (LAC) that aren’t covered below, feel free to email LACs@fireandemergency.nz.

What are Local Advisory Committees (LACs)?

Local Advisory Committees help Fire and Emergency shape our support for communities by providing a strong local perspective on what matters. The Committee:

  • represents community understanding of local risks and issues
  • advises us about specific local needs
  • helps us plan how our services are delivered in the future
  • strengthens connections between Fire and Emergency and communities
  • helps to educate communities about risk reduction and emergency preparedness.

Why has Fire and Emergency established LACs?

The Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 (the Act) brought together urban and rural fire and emergency services into one centrally run organisation. When this reform was mandated by the Government, it wanted to ensure that local knowledge and perspectives were still captured in our planning, which is why establishing Local Advisory Committees was made a legislative requirement. The Act required Fire and Emergency to establish Local Advisory Committees to provide independent advice to our Board, to keep us connected to what matters to local communities. 

LACs’ advice informs our planning, and helps us better support communities to reduce risk, prepare for and respond to emergencies, and recover quickly when they happen. LACs also help us understand the interests of local volunteer and industry brigades.

When were LACs established?

The first seven LACs were set up by 30 June 2020. They are in Northland, Tairāwhiti, Hawkes Bay, Marlborough, Chatham Islands, West Coast, and Otago. A year-one evaluation of the first seven LACs is underway. The evaluation and lessons from the establishment of our first seven LACS will help inform next steps for the remaining LACs.

How do we ensure that a range of voices are heard in a Local Advisory Committee?

Each Local Advisory Committee has developed a plan for engaging with local communities of interest, supported by our local teams and funded by Fire and Emergency. The nomination and selection process are designed to ensure  a diverse spread of members to help us better connect with important stakeholder groups across each area, including those in the rural sector.

Why are we looking for new Local Advisory Committee members for Tairāwhiti and Chatham Islands?

LAC member appointments are for up to three years, however some of our committee members’ circumstances have changed, resulting in some resignations on these committees.  To ensure our LACs continue representing their communities well, and can engage with them effectively, new members are needed.

What are we looking for in new members?

Local Advisory Committees are made up of local people who represent a diverse range of community interests. We seek people who:

  • are leaders in their community with the ability to communicate to a broad range of interest groups
  • want to use their experience to make their community safe and better prepared for emergencies
  • are well-connected e. can engage with a range of networks and communities of interest to gather a wider perspective, not just represent a single group
  • have a good understanding of local risks and issues
  • are analytical and strategic thinkers.

What commitment is involved?

LACs meet quarterly and are expected to undertake community engagements throughout the year guided by the committee’s stakeholder engagement plan. 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.

What are some examples of our current LACs work to date?

On the West Coast committee members have been engaging with hapū to strengthen our relationship with iwi. In Northland committee members have been engaging with small isolated communities in the Far North to help us better understand how we can support these communities to reduce risk and be prepared for, respond to and recover well from emergencies. Committee 

members have supported initiatives like our Home Safety Fire Visit project on the Chatham Islands and our marae preparedness programme in Tairāwhiti.

How are appointments made?

We follow a robust evaluation and appointment process where an independent recruitment agency undertakes initial shortlisting. These candidates are then interviewed by a selection panel consisting of:

  • An independent recruitment consultant
  • Fire and Emergency Region Manager or delegate
  • A member of the National LAC

The selection panel presents their recommendations to the Board who   make the final appointment decisions.

Where nominees are not appointed in the first instance, applications will be kept on file with their permission so we can reconnect with them, along with others who have registered interest, if vacancies on Local Advisory Committees arise.

Can I register interest for other LACs yet to be established?

Yes, email LACs@fireandemergency.nz if you’re interested in being contacted when timeframes for the next round of nomination processes are confirmed.