Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Fearless Fire-Fighter Should be Honoured

Fearless Fire-Fighter Should be Honoured says Hone Harawira

Friday 24 November 2006

Hone Harawira, MP for Te Tai Tokerau, today spoke out about the heroic bravery and stoic determination of Te Rawhiti woman, Bella Heta (of Ngati Haua).

“Bella is an amazing woman - she started out as a fire fighter in the Pureora Forest because all the local men were at work and she and five other women were the only ones left at home who could brave the flames.”

“It’s an incredible achievement that she’s been fighting fires for 25 years and I was a bit blown away to hear that due to the bureaucracy gone mad, she’s been deprived of the Gold Star Award that should be rightfully hers”.

Earlier this week the United Fire Brigades' Association executive said 61-year-old Bella Heta could not be given the Gold Star – an award presented to those who have served as fire fighting workers for 25 or 50 years.

“The criteria for the Gold Star is that candidates need to have carried out their 25 or 50 years of service consecutively at one fire service organisation.”

“Rules are rules I guess, but I reckon the main thing is that Bella has put in that Gold Star effort, with or without the badge, for quarter of a century, and her community are right behind her” said Mr Harawira.

“Besides it would be almost impossible for most women to give continuous service especially when they have given birth to and raised nine children at the same time, like Bella has. Rules like this are bound to discriminate against mothers” said Mr Harawira.

In spite of the association’s decision, the people of Te Rawhiti will honour Bella’s contribution tomorrow (Saturday November 25) in a special celebration at Te Rawhiti Marae in Russell. One of the organisers, Debbie Peacock, said they were expecting about 100 people to attend.

“I just think Bella is an fabulous role model and someone I’m proud to recognise as the Gold Star of Te Rawhiti” ended Mr Harawira.

Bella started as a volunteer fire fighter at Pureora Forest Industrial where she served for five years. As a result of the closure of the forest, Bella and her whanau moved to Mangakino and joined the Mangakino Volunteer Fire Brigade where she served for seven years and six months. Thirteen years ago she and her whanau moved north to Te Rawhiti where she joined Te Rawhiti Rural Fire Force. She is currently Chief of this force which has thirteen crew members.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news