Independent operational review of NZ International Convention Centre fire underway

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Independent operational review of NZ International Convention Centre fire underway


The Fire and Emergency NZ commissioned independent operational review of the 2019 New Zealand International Convention Centre fire at SkyCity is underway.

The independent review will consider firefighting operations and performance on the ground as well as Fire and Emergency support activities, including the management of the health, safety and wellbeing of staff across the incident ground. The review will not consider any matters regarding the origin and cause of the fire, which is the subject of a separate investigation.

Independent reviewers have been appointed by the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) and will be in New Zealand from 12-20 February. The reviewers are Jeremy Fewtrell, Deputy Commissioner Strategic Capability, Fire and Rescue, NSW, and Paul Considine, AFAC Director Capability and Assurance. They will be meeting and interviewing key stakeholders and firefighters.

Fire and Emergency Chief Executive Rhys Jones says: “While we regularly review our operations, I believe the significance of this fire called for an independent review, which is being sponsored by Raewyn Bleakley, Deputy Chief Executive, Office of the Chief Executive, on my behalf. This will allow all aspects of the operation to be examined independently from the National Commander down.”

The independent review will be made public when finalised and the National Commander will be responsible for implementing the response to the review. The terms of reference for the review can be found here.

The fire at the New Zealand International Convention Centre broke out on 22 October 2019 in the Auckland central business district while the centre was under construction. The fire was complex and dangerous, and at its peak was attended by around 130 firefighters, 30 fire trucks and 16 operational vehicles. 

A report on the cause and origin of this fire is underway and will also be publicly released in due course.