Transparency Statement

Information gathering transparency statement

This statement sets out how Fire and Emergency New Zealand collects, safeguards and uses the information we need to support the work we are required to do under legislation to protect lives, property, land and the environment, and to meet our regulatory compliance obligations.

This statement applies to information gathered by us, our contractors, and any other third parties we engage.

Why we gather information

We gather information for regulatory compliance purposes

We collect information to enable us to carry out our regulatory compliance functions under the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 (the Act). This includes information we need for activities such as:

  • fire control prohibitions and restrictions (including fire permits and firebreaks)
  • approving a building owner’s evacuation scheme, for example, for:
  • a building or part of a building that provides employment facilities for 10 or more people
  • an early childhood centre, or
  • a residential aged care facility
  • managing levy payments and processes
  • pre-incident planning (including planning for incidents involving hazardous substances or controlled radiation sources)
  • post-incident analysis, to determine the cause or origin of emergencies
  • licensing processes under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

We gather information for law enforcement purposes

We support our administration and enforcement of the Act and its regulations by collecting information about people:

  • including those who contravene fire control or evacuation scheme requirements
  • so we can administer and enforce the Act’s levy provisions
  • gathered during our ordinary operational activities or when exercising our statutory powers of entry, inspection, and search.

We gather information for protective security purposes

We collect information to allow us to protect our staff, contractors, volunteers, and visitors. The information we gather for this purpose allows us to take appropriate steps to respond to and mitigate threats to the physical safety of people and the security of information. We gather information proportionately and reasonably and in accordance with relevant legislation and the Model Standards for Information Gathering.

Before we decide to gather or use information

In deciding whether to collect or use information for any of the above purposes, we consider a range of factors, including:

  • whether we can legally gather and use this information (and, if we can gather and use it, whether we should)
  • what ethical and legal principles and constraints affect our ability to collect, use, and manage this information
  • where the information came from and how we will validate or verify it
  • how collecting this information is likely to impact affected individuals
  • the severity of the harm we are seeking to prevent or address
  • the intended and possible outcomes of collecting this information.

Where we gather our information from

We gather information directly, such as:

  • when people volunteer their information to us
  • information we gather as part of our normal statutory operations, for example:
  • when people apply for fire permits
  • when we carry out post-incident analyses
  • publicly available information, including websites, social media, news media, and public records.

We gather and preserve information and evidence using our statutory powers or with the consent of affected people. We only use these powers in accordance with the Privacy Act and the Privacy Principles.

We may gather information by receiving or requesting it from another person or agency. We take all practicable steps to verify any information we receive from third parties before we use it.

When we share information

In some circumstances, we share information with other public sector agencies or receive and use information that they have shared with us. Where we do share information with another agency, we do so only in accordance with the relevant legislation and any information-sharing agreements that limit how we can gather, disclose or use that information.

Sometimes we will be required by law to share information with another agency. We may also refer matters to the Police if our staff are threatened or abused, or if we receive information that appears to us to have been gathered unlawfully.

What we do with the information

In most cases, we only use the information for the purpose for which it was collected. Occasionally we identify the need to use the information further, for example:

  • to consider or investigate compliance breaches or complaints
  • to initiate our own investigations or inquiries.

We will only use information this way, or to inform our wider compliance and regulatory strategies, if required or permitted by law and if this use complies with the Privacy Act 1993.

How we protect information

We collect, use, disclose, keep, and dispose of information in accordance with our Privacy Policy, Records Management Policy, ICT Acceptable Use Policy, and in compliance with the Privacy Act 1993, the Official Information Act 1982 and the Public Records Act 2005.

All personnel must comply with our organisation’s Code of Conduct. Anyone found breaching our information management protocols (such as unauthorised access or use of information) may be subject to an internal investigation with consequences up to and including termination of contract or referral for a criminal prosecution.

Feedback and complaints

If you have an inquiry or complaint about how we gather information, or believe we have not acted in accordance with this statement, you can find out more about our complaints processes here: https://fireandemergency.nz/contact-us/

Alternatively, you can contact us at:

  • 04 496 3600
  • Fire and Emergency National Headquarters
    PO Box 2133
    Wellington