Queenstown Lakes District Council principal rural fire
officer Gordon Bailey has recommended the council support an
enlarged rural fire district for Otago.
In a report to be considered at the council's final full
meeting for this triennium, in Wanaka on Tuesday, Mr Bailey
also recommends the council request the National Rural Fire
Authority begin the formalities of the amalgamation process.
He said ''clear benefits'' could be realised through
amalgamation, including opportunities to improve rural fire
services and governance, training, succession planning and
While operating costs would be higher, ''efficiencies of
scale and improved resource allocations are expected to drive
costs down in the future''.
The operating costs for the first year for the new entity
were forecast to be $240,000 higher than the combined funding
rural fire authorities could realise from existing budgets,
with transitional costs estimated to be $100,000, including
project management and associated legal and administrative
expenses, proposed to be apportioned on the same basis as
QLDC's present operating costs were $309,133, with $248,033
''releasable'' to the new entity. QLDC's share of
transitional costs would be $14,647, with additional
operating costs in year one of $46,772.
Mr Bailey said senior executives of existing rural fire
authorities had agreed to support an amalgamation and to
recommend that to their respective governing bodies.
To give effect to the recommendation, the governing bodies
would need to enter into individual stakeholder agreements,
approve funding of forecast transition expenses and
''ultimately approve a three-year funding commitment to the
enlarged rural fire authority'', based on forecast operating
expenses and existing contribution ratios.