NZ firefighting restructure finalised

Friday 1 Oct 2021

Fire and Emergency New Zealand has reached a significant milestone as New Zealand’s first unified firefighting organisation.

27 September 2021 marks the stand-up of 17 new Districts, replacing an historic split where there were 24 urban areas and 18 rural fire districts across the country. Chief Executive Rhys Jones says Fire and Emergency New Zealand was established in 2017 and bringing together over 40 rural and urban fire services and 14,000 people has been a huge job.

"But getting all the different firefighting set ups working together as one national organisation has been necessary," Rhys Jones says. "Our structural changes are about building a unified national emergency management organisation to meet the changing risks communities face across both the built and natural environments," he says.

Prior to the new structure announced this week, Fire and Emergency maintained a similar leadership structure to the organisations that preceded it. Area managers led urban focused brigades and stations, and principal rural fire officers led rurally focused brigades. Under the new structure, all brigades and stations will sit together under their respective newly appointed District managers.

National Commander Kerry Gregory says Fire and Emergency’s work goes a lot further than putting out fires and the new teams will reflect its wider remit.

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