The powers of entry, inspection and search are now provided in Section 165, 170 and 171 of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act.
The Sections only provide that FENZ Inspectors have the power to enter buildings, for example for pre-incident planning.
All Operational personal are Authorised Persons – however the Act does not provide that Authorised Persons have powers of entry (outside of an emergency
So members who are solely Authorised Persons cannot just ask or demand to be let into a building – they do not now have this power. To gain entry legally
there is a process to go through which the Union sees as untenable and will ultimately hamper our day to business.
This situation arises through a complete failure in drafting the new Act. Because of a total lack of knowledge in the bureaucracy: They developed Authorised
Persons and Inspectors. However these positions simply don’t properly provide what is needed.
The obvious and practical way to resolve this is to either change the Act – or make all Authorised Persons also Inspectors.
However in the meantime you need to be very aware that accessing property for the purposes of inspection, pre-planning and familiarisation etc. is not
within the scope of your powers (if you are solely an Authorised Person). You must not act outside of your legal authority.
The previous legal authority has been removed.
This situation has been subject to considerable correspondence with Management. Until legal powers of entry are clearly and specifically provided – do
not act outside of your legal authority/or outside the Law.
The Union will pursue this with FENZ.