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Current Round 
Current round 

The New Zealand Fire Service Commission has a statutory duty to promote fire safety, better work practices and effective rural fire management. This requires that it supports research into better methods and practices of fire safety.


The Commission has made available a contestable research fund of $550,000 for 2013-14 for research into a variety of areas identified as being of immediate importance.


Expressions of interest are invited from organisations in a position to carry out research projects starting in May 2014. The New Zealand Fire Service Commission seeks to fund research that meets its mission of reducing the incidence and consequence of fire.


The research may be in any field. The Commission has determined the following priorities, but welcomes any submissions that address its mission.


Targeting Vulnerable Groups

  • Home security versus fire safety for the elderly
  • Evaluating effective methods of engaging school-leavers in adopting fire-safe behaviours

People, Processes and Equipment

  • Diversity in the community versus diversity at the NZFS: understanding who is missing and why

Built Environment

  • Fire-fighting water demands
  • Use of functioning smoke alarms
  • Early childhood centres in multi-story buildings
  • Maximising the use of Automated Fire Alarm data and intelligence in the built environment

Measuring Our Effectiveness

  • Home Safety Check programme evaluation
  • Assessing the effectiveness of the current “Home Sprinkler” campaign
  • Assessing the deployment of NZFS fire risk-reduction programmes into volunteer brigades

Future Directions

  • What the presence of an NZFS brigade represents to communities
  • Sustaining volunteerism in communities – identifying early warning signs of vulnerability
  • Enlarged Rural Fire Districts – understanding what makes them successful
  • Successful interagency partnerships
  • Risk-based resource allocation across rural fire districts
  • The changing behaviour and expectations of the New Zealand public in the use of emerging technologies to communicate with the emergency services and what this means for emergency sector agencies

Applicants intending to submit expressions of interest on the Commission’s listed priorities are advised to read the relevant briefing documents.


Research must be novel, must address issues in the context of New Zealand legislation, culture, climate, environment, construction practice or lifestyle, or must show how work carried out overseas may be applied in New Zealand.


Particular consideration will be given to providing seeding grants for projects seeking funds from other sources.


Please submit expressions of interest no later than 5pm Wednesday, 20 November 2013. Instructions for preparation of expressions of interest and briefing documents for topics are available at, or by contacting Hayley Bilton at


Submissions will be assessed by an independent committee, and suitable applicants will be invited to prepare detailed research proposals.