News & Notices

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

From the 1st July the Wairarapa Rural Fire District will cease to exist and a new organisation "Fire & Emergency New Zealand" will be formed. This new organisation is amalgamating all urban and rural fire fighters under 1 organisation.

You the public probably won't notice any change as on the 1st July we will still respond to all your emergencies as we previously did.

What you may notice is we are getting a new logo! Here is said logo with some information about why it was chosen


The logo uses the internationally recognised Battenberg chequered pattern- shorthand for emergency services.

The colours of the new logo bring together the red and yellow from urban and rural fire appliances. The blue provides authority and calm

The logo begins with the word “FIRE” for quick reference in an emergency

Personnel and the public said it made sense to lose the ‘and’ in Fire and Emergency to keep the logo simple.

Personnel and public interviewed said the new logo was more relevant without the crown  

Rural Fire Fleet at full strength -Beckie Wilson Wairarapa Times age

A ten-year project has finally paid off with the Wairarapa rural fire service now bosting a full complement of fire engines.

The last of the eight trucks were added to the Wainuioru fire station this week, which comes only weeks before the merger of both Wairarapa and Tararua Rural Fire services.

Wairarapa Rural Fire District community and education co-ordinator and Mauriceville rural firefighter Grant Detheridge-Davies said this is quite an achievement as each truck is over $160,000 plus a lot of gear.
The eight sites -Castlepoint, Tinui, Riversdale Beach, Mauriceville, Wainuioru, Tora, Ngawi to Lake Ferry, boast a total of 110 volunteers

The new trucks will improve the response time in the rural area, as they are faster, Mr Detheridge-Davies said.

Over the past decade, the New Zealand Fire Service Commission and rural rate payers have funded the fleet.

Combining the Wairarapa and Tararua Rural Fire services will establish a rural fire district of just over a million hectares as part of Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ).

The Tararua District Council Rural Fire Authority has 66 volunteers across Weber, Te Uri, Herbertville, Akitio and Tiraumea.

The new legislation will come into effect on July 1, which all urban and rural fire services across the country with merge together to form FENZ.

Over the next three years, it will build a modern service integrating all elements of the current service: urban, rural, volunteer and paid firefighting forces.

The fire forces are an integral part of the community and in many places double as a response agency in the event of a Civil Defence disaster such as earthquakes or flooding, Mr Detheridge-Davies said

Vern Elliott, Lake Ferry VRFF

Wairarapa Rural Fire District is saddened to report the death of Vern Elliott, a long-time volunteer with the Lake Ferry Volunteer Rural Fire Force with more than 13 years’ service.

A celebration of Vern’s life will be held in the Richmond Chapel, Richmond Road, Carterton on Tuesday 6th June 2017 at 2:30 pm.

Tora Volunteer Rural Fire Force Certificate Presentation

Phill Wishnowsky, Principal Rural Fire Officer for the Wairarapa Rural Fire District, was pleased to present Ian Hunter with his New Zealand Certificate Level 4 and Marcia Hunter with her New Zealand Certificate Level 2 on Wednesday 10th May. Both the certificates were in recognition of qualifications gained in Fire and Rescue Services for working at vegetation fires.

Ian is the controller at the Tora VRFF, while Marcia is the deputy controller. The Tora VRFF is one of eight rural fire forces in the Wairarapa Rural Fire District who have responded to over 255 rural notifications in the last 12 months. These notifications have involved not only vegetation fires but also medical emergencies, car accidents and natural disaster assistance.

Phill took the opportunity to thank all the Rural Fire volunteers that have helped their communities over the last 12 months in their time of need. 

Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bill passes Third Reading


Thursday, 4 May 2017, 4:40 pm
Press Release: New Zealand Government

4 May 2017

Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bill passes Third Reading

In a fitting coincidence with International Firefighters Day today, Parliament has passed the third reading of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bill. This Bill marks most significant change to New Zealand’s fire legislation in 70 years. It creates a single fire organisation – Fire and Emergency New Zealand, and brings together New Zealand’s rural, urban, paid and volunteer firefighters for the first time.

“This Bill, and the reform it represents, has been a very long time in the making. It will ensure New Zealand has a modern, fit for purpose, and well-funded fire service.

“It recognises the vital roles of volunteer and paid firefighters, the importance of community, while addressing long standing issues such as the underfunding of rural fire,” Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne said today.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand will be established as of 1 July 2017, with full integration expected to take four years.

“This is a huge change process, and it is critical we do it right. While we will amalgamate on 1 July 2017, we will work steadily towards full integration over the next four years. This will allow a measured and well thought out integration of the many brigades and fire forces throughout New Zealand.

“It has been a long journey to get to this point, and all those who have been involved should be proud to have been part of this milestone for the fire services of New Zealand. The involvement, passion, knowledge and enthusiasm of firefighters, their communities and stakeholders have made this reform possible”.

“I would also like to acknowledge the work of the Government and Administration Select Committee, which considered this Bill, and in particular the excellent stewardship of Committee Chair Hon Ruth Dyson in guiding this complex piece of legislation though the various stages of its development,” said Mr Dunne.

The Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bill recognises the expanded mandate of the fire services, creates local advisory committees, and ensures firefighters have the appropriate powers to do their jobs. It provides for updated and appropriate penalties, and a disputes resolution scheme to be developed.

“It is important to know that there will be no disruption to the response as a result of the new organisation. Fire appliances will continue to roll out the door as normal on 1 July 2017, ready to respond to any situation in which they are called to assist,” Mr Dunne said.


Ports Hills Complex Fire Christchurch

Rob and Grant from WRFD were deployed to assist the incident management team at the Port Hills fire on Thursday 23rd February for seven days

Rob was attached as Air Attack Supervisor looking after the five helicopters on site and their tasking, while Grant was attached to the management team as Situation Unit Leader, looking after the Incident Action plans, mapping, forward planning, management support and weather forecasting personnel.

The Port Hills fire covered 1819 hectares, the perimeter is over 35 kilometres long, nine houses were destroyed, two damaged. There were also other infrastructure damage and loss of livestock.

27/2/17 Day 15 of the fire and there are over 23 crews on the fire ground with extra supervisory personnel and contactors, more than 150 on the fire ground alone.

28/2/17 Day 16, Good news story, two donkeys missing since the fire started were located today eating lavender at the old nunnery. Down to 22 crews plus extras on the fire line, still a large amount of work to do in a number of sectors with nightly drone flights picking up hot spots across the fire ground

Masterton A & P show

Mauriceville VRFF were invited along to the Masterton A&P show to help with a BBQ sponsored by Ed Wallace and to show off their Isuzu appliance.

While the weather was a wee bit on the damp side it did not stop a large number of kids trying out the fire hose, which was also put to good use cleaning off a couple of boys who created their own entertainment on a mud slide. (at the fathers request)

Many thanks to the Mauriceville crew and Eric Barber for the efforts on the day

Change in Fire Season 17/1/17

The Wairarapa Rural Fire District will be imposing a Restricted Fire Season from Tuesday 17 January 2017.

A permit will be required for the lighting of fires in the open on all lands within the district

Permits can be applied for through this web site

Craig (Mullet) Ellmers Funeral

Mullet’s who was an active member of the Castlepoint VRFF was farewelled at the Lighthouse Church Masterton, on Friday 9th December.

More than 400 people attended with those that could not fit inside church seeking shade under trees outside.

Members of local VRFF and NZFS crews were part of the guard of honour along with students from Mullets sons College who gave an amazing Haka as the casket was taken from the church.

Busy Sunday

Sunday 27th November was a busy day for WRFD, a strong wind event across the district resulted in two significant fires.

The first fire was towards the end of Ngahape Road which resulted in damage to 1 ½ hectares of pine forest  Two NZFS crews from Masterton and one from Carterton , Wainuioru  VRFF. Two forestry crews, tankers from JNL and McAuley’s and two Wairarapa Helicopters attended.

The second fire was on Craigie Lea Road in Carterton this fire resulted in damage to 4 hectares of pine forest and an area of scrub in the power corridor. Two NZFS crews from Carterton, a forestry crews, a digger from Fulton Hogan, a Tanker from Higgins Contracting and two Wairarapa helicopters attended.