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


Kiwi firefighters to help battle California blaze

Hon Rick Barker
Minister of Internal Affairs

10 July 2008
Media Statement

Kiwi firefighters to help battle California blaze

A contingent of New Zealand and Australian rural firefighters will soon be helping to tackle the wildfires in California, Internal Affairs Minister Rick Barker said today. The 40 strong group will include 8 Kiwi rural firefighters from the Department of Conservation, territorial authorities, and forestry companies.

"We have received a formal request for assistance from the National Interagency Fire Centre in the U.S and we are pleased to be able to continue the proud tradition of international support in wildfire fighting built up over the last decade," Mr Barker said.

New Zealand, Australia and the US are parties to mutual assistance agreements covering the provision of specialist wildfire fighting capability in times of need.

"The mutual assistance agreements work both ways – New Zealand provides additional capability at times of extreme fire conditions abroad and it is known that in a time of need New Zealand will receive the same support," Mr Barker said.

"The deployment will also give our firefighters the opportunity to develop skills and gain valuable experience that they can bring back home."

The deployment is expected to last for 5 weeks and will involve firefighters having to camp in sometimes remote conditions.

"I am always impressed by how quickly New Zealand firefighters are able to mobilise to assist internationally. Our firefighters are trained specifically for such deployments and there is never a shortage of men and women willing to help. They are trained to protect life and property in our communities and it is a great tribute to them that they make same commitment to protecting communities overseas, like those threatened by wildfire in the U.S.

"There is no doubt that our firefighters will be working in demanding conditions and I wish them and their families all the best. New Zealand firefighters are in high demand worldwide and I know that their contribution will be appreciated and their expertise put to good use," Mr Barker said.

In 2006, 29 New Zealand firefighters went to the U.S to help fight the wildfires ravaging the Pacific North West and more recently New Zealanders assisted with the fires in Victoria.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

In the end, Mr Pragmatic calmly read the signs of impending defeat and went out on his own terms. You could use any number of clichés to describe Peter Dunne’s exit from Parliament.

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>


Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>


Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>


Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election