Twenty-six fire stations having now been successfully upgraded or rebuilt, providing a boost for regional economies and a key emergency service, Minister of Internal Affairs, Barbara Edmonds said today.
“Fire and Emergency New Zealand play a critical role in keeping communities safe. In order to do so, fire fighters need a base that is resilient, functional and fit-for-purpose,” Minister Edmonds said.
Through the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, the Government has invested $51.3 million for the replacement, rebuild or major refurbishment of 26 fire stations across the country.
“This injection has provided a boost to the capital works programme, ensuring more regional communities have a fit-for-purpose hub for their firefighters to respond from and store equipment,” said Ms Edmonds.
“Over the past three years upgrades have resulted in jobs for Kiwis from as far afield as Greymouth to Featherston and Balclutha to Taihape. Everyone has benefited, from labourers to suppliers and designers to engineers, right across New Zealand.
“When the Government called for shovel ready projects in the early days of COVID-19, Fire and Emergency was well-placed to raise its hand.
“Following establishment in 2017 and the amalgamation of over 40 rural and urban firefighting entities, Fire and Emergency had been well aware of the need to invest heavily in its network of over 650 fire stations,” she said.
Work in the programme has ranged from complete rebuilds, partial refurbishments, seismic strengthening, and facility upgrades. In the quake-affected areas of Canterbury and Kaikōura, new stations have been built to world-class standards ensuring crews have a safe space to come back to, the Minister said.
“The programme has been a huge success. Stations have been delivered on time and largely to budget, despite global challenges and supply chain disruptions.”
“I want to thank everyone who was involved in these projects from start to finish. This investment will make a real difference in supporting our fire fighters for decades to come,” she said.