Most Read Contributor in New Zealand, September 2016
Higher levies and stronger compliance measures will be key
features in the new unified fire service to be created by the Fire
and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) Bill, now before the
Government Administration Committee.
The submission deadline and report back dates have yet to be set
but the Government wants the legislation to come into force on 1
to include all material damage cover, not just fire insurance,
on motor vehicle insurance to include third party
Paying according to the indemnity value of the property, where
this is lower than the sum insured, will no longer be an option.
The levy will be calculated on the maximum amount insured under the
policy, being either an express sum insured or the value declared
by the policyholder (based on the nature of the insurance -
typically, reinstatement value under a commercial material damage
The levies will be set by regulation and will be subject to
review at least every three years to ensure they maintain
The Bill includes anti-avoidance provisions, creating a sliding
scale of offences and penalties in relation to levy
An "unacceptable levy position", where the resulting
shortfall is more than both $50,000 and 1% of the total levy for
the property, will attract a penalty equivalent to 20% of the
Gross carelessness, defined as conduct suggesting or implying
"a high level of disregard for the consequences" will
attract penalties equivalent to 40% of the shortfall.
And levy-payers who have taken an "abusive levy
position", essentially deliberate avoidance, will be liable
for 100% of any shortfall.
Other key changes
Unifying the existing urban and rural fire organisations within
a renamed New Zealand Fire
Service Commission, with expanded functions and powers.
New provisions for managing hazardous substances.
Removal of the ability to recover the costs of rural
The information in this article is for informative purposes
only and should not be relied on as legal advice. Please contact
Chapman Tripp for advice tailored to your situation.
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The failure of a party to call a witness does not necessarily give rise to an adverse inference being drawn in accordance with Jones v Dunkel (1959) 101 CLR 298. An unfavourable inference is drawn only if evidence otherwise provides a basis on which that unfavourable inference can be drawn.
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