Nelson-Tasman Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Much of the work in fire prevention and fighting around the country falls to Local Fire and Emergency New Zealand. This is an independent organisation that handle the prevention, detection and fighting of fires within their areas.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand has responsibility for the fire suppression, prevention and protection of our forest and rural lands under the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977 and as such, monitor the daily fire danger, declare fire seasons and issue fire permits. Visit

Nelson Tasman Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Volunteers fighting fires in rural Nelson

When fire threatens lives and property in rural Nelson, who gets the call? You might think it’s a job for Fire and Emergency New Zealand – but it’s not. You probably didn’t know that it’s the often-dangerous duty of our rural fire authority volunteers to respond to fire emergencies outside Nelson’s urban area.

In order to respond effectively, these staunch volunteers devote their own time to a weekly training regime, so they will be ready when duty calls.

In addition to focussing on rural fires, the teams are facing all kinds of other call-outs from motor vehicle accidents to cats up trees. They also play a significant role in responding to Civil Defence Emergency Management situations including floods and earthquakes.

Partners sharing the load for effective, efficient fire service to Nelson Tasman rural regions

While Fire and Emergency New Zealand covers the urban centres of Richmond and Nelson, it falls on the local authorities, Department of Conservation and major forestry companies to provide fire services for the more than one million hectares of the Nelson Tasman region – the Nelson Tasman Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

Nelson Tasman Fire and Emergency New Zealand's Purpose

Nelson Tasman Fire and Emergency New Zealand has been established under the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 for the protection from rural fire of all life, structures, trees and other vegetation outside of urban areas.


Thanks to a shared partnership with other organisations, both governmental and commercial, a team of volunteer and professional firefighters, coordinated centrally, are available to respond to the fire control challenges of this large, diverse region.

  • Nelson City Council
  • Tasman District Council
  • Department of Conservation
  • Tasman Bay Forests Limited
  • Nelson Forests Limited
  • Federated Farmers
  • Fire and Emergency New Zealand

The benefits of these key stakeholders working together and sharing expertise and resources to ensure an effective fire management services for the Nelson Tasman region is immense.

All the partners contribute finance, labour and equipment to meet the needs of the region. Nelson City Council’s share, including finance and ‘in-kind’ contributions, is about 10% of the regions operating costs each year.

Practical Work

The practical work of the Nelson Tasman Fire and Emergency New Zealand is summarized in the four ‘Rs:

  • Reduction of fires – fire prevention
  • Readiness for fires – training and staffing so they’re ready when needed
  • Response to fires – doing the right things quickly to minimize impacts of a fire
  • Recovery from fires – keeping the short- and long-term negative results of fire to a minimum