Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


A time to reflect: the Pigeon Valley Fire remembered

A year ago, sparks from farming equipment started a fire that became the biggest civil defence emergency in Nelson and Tasman’s history. It started the night before Waitangi Day, and quickly escalated into a major incident.

“We activated our Emergency Operating Centre (EOC) in Richmond,” says Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese. “The emergency declaration was made the next morning, and dedicated teams from Nelson and Tasman were embedded there for three challenging weeks.”

The fires caused more than 3,000 people to evacuate their homes and prompted an unprecedented combined response from Nelson and Tasman Council. In October, those involved in the response were awarded Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s first Spirit of Service Award.

“The way Nelson and Tasman pulled together at this very challenging time was inspiring,” says Mayor Reese. “A real reminder of what people co-operating together can achieve.”

The response won particular praise for its collaboration with Te Tau Ihu Iwi, and the introduction of Iwi Liaison Officers (ILO). A team of four from Te Puni Ko-kiri, DOC and NZ Police provided a culturally authentic presence at the emergency centre that honoured the concepts of manaakitanga and kaitiakitanga.

Shifts at the EOC started and ended with karakia. ILOs also provided cultural support to special guests such as the Prime Minister as well as communicating vital information to the Ma-ori community in Te Tau Ihu, across the country and worldwide.

Tasman District Council Mayor Tim King says the fire was a hugely challenging time for the region, especially for those who were evacuated from their homes.

“A fire on this scale, on top of the drought conditions at the time could have felt overwhelming but my lasting memory was the huge response from our community. It was an incredible effort all round and it made me feel proud of the place that I live and the people I share it with.”

Mayor Reese says the anniversary is an opportunity for both regions to remember “the incredible power of fire and the damage it can cause long after it is extinguished".

"Our thoughts are now with our friends in Australia suffering from the effects of their own catastrophic wildfires, and with firefighting teams faced with the task of keeping our communities safe from harm.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Our Unreal Optimism About The Economic Impact Of Coronavirus

At this week’s Chinese New Year celebrations, PM Jacinda Ardern was resolutely upbeat that business with China would soon bounce back to normal – better than ever, even - once the coronavirus epidemic has been brought under control. To Ardern, the adversity has only accentuated just how close we are to Beijing Nothing wrong with being upbeat, if it can calm the nerves and turn business sentiment into a self-fulfilling prophecy. The problems begin when the optimism detaches itself from reality. What has been very odd so far about the coronavirus episode is that global share markets – normally spooked by mere sneezes or sniffles in the world’s major economies - have continued to be fairly positive, even as the epidemic has unfolded... More>>

First Published on Werewolf here


Gordon Campbell: On The Political Donations Scandals
Even paranoids have real enemies. While there has been something delusionary about the way New Zealand First has been living in denial about its donations scandal, one can sympathise with its indignation about Paula Bennett and Simon Bridges being among its chief accusers. More>>


UN Expert: NZ Housing Crisis Requires Bold Human Rights Response

This is a press statement from UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing at the end of her 10-day visit to New Zealand. The Government of New Zealand has recognized that the country is facing a housing crisis, said Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur ... More>>


2020 And Beyond: National’s Economic Plan

National Leader Simon Bridges has today outlined National’s economic plan heading into election 2020. “National understands the economy and how it impacts on New Zealanders day to day lives... More>>


Abortion Legislation Committee: Abortion Bill Report Presented To The House

The Abortion Legislation Committee has presented its report on the Abortion Legislation Bill to the House. A copy of the report is available here. The bill seeks to have abortion services provided like other health services... More>>


Auditor-General's Report : Water Management

The Auditor-General’s report Reflecting on our work about water management was presented to the House of Representatives today. Over the last two years we have been looking at how well public organisations are carrying out their water management ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels