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FENZ commissions independent review into SkyCity fire

Fire and Emergency New Zealand has commissioned an independent review of its management of the 2019 SkyCity convention centre fire.

The large fire broke out on October 22 in the Auckland central business district while the convention centre was under construction.

The fire was complex and dangerous, which at its peak was attended by about 130 firefighters, 30 appliances and 16 operational vehicles. It severely impacted the Auckland central business district, and it resulted in a full evacuation of the SkyCity precinct.

"We are an organisation that is always looking at where we can improve." says Fire and Emergency chief executive Rhys Jones.

"We regularly review our operations but in this case the magnitude of the SkyCity convention centre fire called for an independent review, as with the Tasman fires last February."

Fire and Emergency is currently finalising the terms of reference for the independent review and will release them shortly.

"We will be asking the independent reviewers to consider firefighting operations and performance on the ground as well as Fire and Emergency support activities; including the management of the health, safety and wellbeing of staff across the incident ground."

The review will not consider the origin and cause of the fire.

"We are aware of the significant public interest in the fire investigation and will release the findings in due course, subject to legal requirements," Rhys says.

The review team will be led by one or two independent reviewers, appointed by the review sponsor as recommended by the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council with secretarial support from Fire and Emergency NZ.

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