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Fires Outside Urban Fire Districts 

Section 47C of the Fire Service Act 1975 allows the New Zealand Fire Service Commission to charge for fires outside urban fire districts. There are 2 types of fire that may incur a charge and these are outlined here.


Rural fire event


A fire on publicly or privately owned land in an area which is within a Rural Fire Area controlled by the Department of Conservation or a Rural Fire Authority.


Fire outside urban and rural fire district


A fire on a boat in a marina, or on vessels arriving or departing New Zealand waters.

How the charge is calculated

We charge a Rural Fire Authority (RFA) in order to recover our costs associated with fires outside urban fire districts. The charges are calculated on an hourly basis, using this formula:

(Incident departure time + station departure time) + (incident arrival time – station departure time)

For rural fire events where a specified Section 15 agreement exists with the RFA, we do not charge for the first hour. Charging for the incident starts 1 hour after the first responding appliance leaves the fire station. If an appliance leaves the station more than an hour after the incident begins it will be charged out for the whole time it is away from its station.

The Rates

The rates used for attendance are approved by the New Zealand Fire Service Commission every year and reflect the cost of attendance of our staff, volunteers, and equipment and appliances used.

Download our current rates for attendance at incidents outside of urban and rural fire districts
Download our current rates for attendance at fires inside rural fire districts

What is charged

Any time we attend a fire outside an urban fire district it is likely there will be a charge. This includes, but is not limited to, structure fires, hedge fires, vegetation fires, or forestry fires.

The Chief Fire Officer, or a person they delegate, may make provision to discount up to 50% of the cost of the fire in a situation where some of the response relates to the protection of 1 or more structures inside a Rural Fire District.