Revealed: How much New Zealand's emergency services spend on fuel

Police spend a significantly higher amount on fuel than other emergency services and don't think fuel consumption should stop them from doing their job.

For the year ending September 30, 2018, Newshub can reveal Police spent $16.01 million on fuel use, Fire and Emergency NZ spent $2.9 million, and St John spent $4.4 million.

Revealed: How much New Zealand's emergency services spend on fuel
Photo credit: Newshub.


Police National Fleet Manager Rob Morgan told Newshub fuel consumption shouldn't get in the way of their role.

"If they need full performance of the vehicle to carry out their roles then that's what we expect them to do. It's more about being efficient when they're driving."

Morgan did say electric vehicles aren't off the table, however they don't currently suit the role in the field.

"There's not the infrastructure out there to support the charging and from police's point of view there's not the range in those vehicles. There's also a time delay in charging so for us the position is we can't really delay going to a job because we've got to charge the vehicle up.

"In the future we can see a big part of the New Zealand fleet moving to EV's and that's certainly what the Government seem to want."


Fire and Emergency New Zealand has revealed fuel prices don't have a major impact on overall costs because performance of time-critical emergency responses is prioritised.

But National Fleet Manager Mike Moran says steps have been taken to provide a fuel efficient service.

"Our most modern and therefore cleanest and best performance trucks are used in our busiest locations, while our older, less fuel-efficient trucks are used in quieter locations and therefore do fewer kilometres each year.

Moran says electric vehicles are being looked into in the pool car fleet and firetrucks could be included in the future.

"At the moment there are challenges for using electric heavy trucks, such as short battery range and low top speeds, but we're confident these challenges will eventually be overcome and we'll be able to convert to electric trucks in the future."


For the 12 months ending September 30 2018, the price of fuel (excluding GST) for St John was $4.4 million - that's up $750,000 on the previous year. Of that $690,000 related to fuel price increases.

Infrastructure General Manager David Thomas revealed the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will cost St John more.

"We estimate the annual cost increase this financial year, ending June 2019 will be over $100,000."

Thomas says like police, fuel efficiency isn't the main priority.

"The major focus of our vehicle movement planning is to optimise our vehicle location planning around improving patient outcomes rather than cost efficiency.

"Due to the nature of our specialist emergency ambulance fleet, especially in provincial and rural locations, we do not currently see the tipping point for Hybrid or EV within our ambulance fleet."

Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter encourages moves to go electric.

"Any organisation that finds themselves with the ability to switch to cleaner vehicles that's great. It's going to be good for them in terms of lowering running costs and it's going to be good for the climate."

Genter says everybody needs to follow suit.

"In the long term we need to be transitioning to a low emission fleet. Some types of organisations are going to be able to do that more easily than others."