A new organisation, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, has been established following a reform of the way fire and emergency services are delivered in New Zealand.
The Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 received Royal Assent on May 11, 2017, and Fire and Emergency NZ was established on July 1, 2017.
Deputy principal rural fire officer, Eastern Zone Pumicelands District, Tony Gillard says the Act combines urban and rural fire and emergency services into a single fire and emergency services organisation for New Zealand, with an increased mandate to provide a wide range of services for communities.
“The new organisation has a strong foundation of passionate, committed and skilled people who have earned the trust and respect of New Zealanders. Whether they are urban, rural, employees or volunteers, our people serve their communities to protect and preserve life, property and the environment,” say Tony.
A restricted fire season was imposed by Fire and Emergency NZ on October 1, 2017 and will run through to April 30, 2018. All fires in the open air require a fire permit, with gas cookers or barbeques excluded.
Fire permits can be obtained by visiting the ‘Check It’s Alright Before You Light’ website: www.checkitsalright.nz or call 0800 658628.
Any fire you light, be it campfires, cooking fires, braziers, rubbish fires, controlled burns or prescribed burns is your responsibility. There are some simple precautions you can take before lighting up:
• Check weather conditions
• Have water on site
• Clear surrounding vegetation
• Obtain a fire permit (read condition on permit)
• Insurance – should your fire escape.