Makara Fire Debrief Report

Alan Thompson made this Official Information request to Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Response to this request is long overdue. By law Fire and Emergency New Zealand should have responded by now (details and exceptions). You can complain to the Ombudsman.

From: Alan Thompson

Fire and Emergency NZ,

In early Feb 2018 (6 months ago) the Makara Fire occurred on the Chathams Island. In response to a May 2018 OIA request you advised that the total costs for this fire were $1,4128,928.28 which includes $833,090 for aerial services (ie Helicopters). You also advised that no independent operational review of this event was undertaken by FENZ.

You did advise that a "debrief report" was currently being prepared. You did not advise why there was no operational review or why the Debrief Report was not complete given the fire occurred back in February.

Under the provisions of the Official Information Act I request:

1. The documentation setting out the criteria that apply for determining if a rural fire will be subject to an Operational Report.

2. A copy of the Makara Fire debrief report.

Thank you

Alan Thompson
Lower Hutt

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From: Web Communications
Fire and Emergency New Zealand

  

If you are facing an emergency, please call 111.

 Thanks for contacting Fire and Emergency National Headquarters

This email address is monitored from 8 - 5pm on weekdays only

 

Kind Regards,

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

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From: Web Communications
Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Thank you for your email.

This is to confirm that your request has been received and has been passed
on to the relevant team.

 

They will respond to you in the next two business working days.

 

Kind regards,

New Zealand Fire Service.

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From: Perham, Kathryn
Fire and Emergency New Zealand


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Attachment OIA 2018.6577 Acknowledgement Letter.pdf
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Dear Alan

 

Please find attached a letter acknowledging receipt of your official
information request.

 

Kind regards

Kathryn Perham

Ministerial Services Coordinator, Executive & Ministerial Services
Office of the Chief Executive

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Logo_CMYK.png [2][email address]

 [3]www.fireandemergency.nz

 

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From: Mihaka, Moana
Fire and Emergency New Zealand


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Attachment OIA 2018 6577 Signed Response.pdf
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Kia ora Alan

 

Please find attached a response from Leigh Deuchars, Director, Office of
the Chief Executive, to your official information request.

 

Nga mihi

 

Moana Mihaka

Ministerial Services Coordinator, Executive & Ministerial Services
Office of the Chief Executive

 

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[2][email address]

 [3]www.fireandemergency.nz

 

 

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From: Alan Thompson

Leigh Deuchars
Director, Office of the Chief Executive

Dear Leigh,

Thank you for the prompt response to my request for the De-Brief Report for the Feb 2018 Makara Fire (Chathams Isle).

You have advised that the report has been redacted under Section 9(2)(g)(ii) of the Act. This section states that information may be withheld to:

“maintain the effective conduct of public affairs through the free and frank expression of opinions by or between or to Ministers of the Crown or members of an organisation or officers and employees of any department or organisation in the course of their duty”.

As you are aware 9 of the 11 pages of the report are totally blacked out and 1 page is 50% blacked out. I am left with the only information in the report being its title page and some incomplete data on its location, cause, fire weather and the response.

I fully understand there may be a need to keep personal details confidential but I suggest that in this instance redacting effectively the entire contents of the report is unreasonable. In this instance, if you believe there is a need to “protect the free and frank expression of opinion of those involved” then all that is required is for you to redact from the report the name(s) of the person to whom the opinion is attributed. I can assure you that I have no particular interest in the name of the person.

I note that in all of the reports and other documents that NZFS/FENZ have published (including in the public domain) that this has been the standard that has always applied. I refer you to the recent publication on your web site of the Port Hills Operational Review, the Fire Investigators Report, the daily IAPs, etc as examples. The Makara Fire De-Brief report should follow the same standard.

Prior to requesting assistance on this matter with the Ombudsman as per your advice I would like to request that you review your decision to redact 99% of the Makara Fire De-Brief Report. I propose that you address my request with a copy of the De-Brief Report where only the names of persons are redacted (where you consider this necessary).

I will hold off approaching the Ombudsman until early next week in the hope that you can favourably consider my proposal.

Thank you.

Alan Thompson
Lower Hutt

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From: Perham, Kathryn
Fire and Emergency New Zealand


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Dear Mr Thompson

 

Thank you for your email concerning our response to your request for the
Debrief report for the February 2018 Makara Fire.  I want to let you know
that we have received your email and are considering your concerns.  You
have advised that you will hold off until early next week before
contacting the Ombudsman.  I want to let you know that Leigh has been out
of the office this week and has prior engagements early next week that
mean it will be mid to late next week before she will be able to respond.

 

Kind regards

 

Kathryn Perham

Advisor, Executive & Ministerial Services
Office of the Chief Executive

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 [3]www.fireandemergency.nz

 

 

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From: Mihaka, Moana
Fire and Emergency New Zealand


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Attachment OIA 2018 6577 Signed 2nd Response.pdf
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Attachment Debrief report v2 FINAL Redacted.pdf
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Attachment Debrief Report Summary.pdf
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Kia ora Alan

 

Please find attached a response from Leigh Deuchars, Director, Office of
the Chief Executive, to your official information request.

 

Nga mihi

 

Moana Mihaka

Ministerial Services Coordinator, Executive & Ministerial Services
Office of the Chief Executive

 

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[2][email address]

 [3]www.fireandemergency.nz

 

 

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From: Alan Thompson

On the advice from FENZ that “a debrief report was being prepared” for the Makara Fire this OIA Request was made for a copy of this report. Your response included a mostly redacted copy of the report of a debrief for the Makara Fire as held at the Avalon Fire Station on the 10th of May.

As you are aware, the redaction of the contents of the debrief report is subject to an appeal with the Office of the Ombudsman.

In a recent letter from the Chief Executive of Fire and Emergency NZ, Mr Jones advised that one of the reasons that he did not support a formal and independent operational review of the Makara Fire was that it had FENZ had already “conducted three debriefs for this fire”.

Further to this OIA Request:

1. Please advise the dates and locations of the other two Makara Fire debriefs referred to by Mr Jones.

2. Provide a copy of the report or other documentation as resulting from each of these two additional debriefs.

3. Advise why the information relating to these additional two debriefs was withheld.

The request for this missing information directly relates to the matter of the appeal currently with the Office of the Ombudsman. Your prompt response to the above would assist to resolve this matter without further delay or additional work by the Ombudsman.

Alan Thompson
Lower Hutt

cc Office of the Ombudsman Ref Case 483139

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From: Mihaka, Moana (Shared MB)
Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Kia ora,

 

I am no longer working for Fire and Emergency NZ.

 

If you have any questions please contact Louise Robinson
[email address]

 

Nga mihi Moana

 

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From: Robinson, Louise
Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Dear Alan
I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your information request dated 22 November 2018.
In accordance with section 15 of the Official Information Act 1982 we will try to respond to your request as soon as possible and in any event no later than 20 working days after the day your request was received.
If we are unable to respond to your request by then, we will notify you of an extension of that timeframe.
We will contact you if we require further information to clarify, or to enable us to process, your request.
If any additional factors come to light which are relevant to your request, please do not hesitate to contact us so that these can be taken into account.
Kind regards
Louise

Louise Robinson
Ministerial Services Coordinator, Executive & Ministerial Services
Office of the Chief Executive

 
P: 04 496 3694  
[email address]
 www.fireandemergency.nz

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From: Robinson, Louise
Fire and Emergency New Zealand


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Attachment OIA 2018.7558 Extn to deadline.pdf
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Dear Alan

Please find attached a response from Amelia Dalley, Senior Advisor, Office
of the Chief Executive, extending the deadline of your request.

Kind regards

Louise

 

Louise Robinson

Ministerial Services Coordinator, Executive & Ministerial Services
Office of the Chief Executive

 

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 M: 021 833 640

 P: 04 496 3694  

[2][email address]

 [3]www.fireandemergency.nz

 

 

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From: Alan Thompson

18 Dec 2018

Amelia Dailey
National HQ
FENZ

Dear Amelia,

Re OIA 2018.6577 2nd Response

I note your advice that your response to my OIA re the Makara Fire Debriefs has been delayed until 13 Feb 2019. You will appreciate that it is difficult to understand why the simple task of retrieving the two reports missing from your original response and sending these to me should take in excess of 3 months.

Regrettably this delay simply looks like a deliberate move by FENZ to frustrate the release of this information. This has been a constant theme of my requests for information on the Makara Fire confirming my sense that more scrutiny on this event is required. Certainly not consistent with FENZ's commitment to "transparency".

I have copied your advice of this delay and this letter to the Office of the Ombudsman as it is this relevant to my appeal re the redaction of the debrief information that has previously been sent to me.

Yours sincerely,

Alan Thompson

cc Office of the Ombudsman re Case 483139

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