Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

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


Further Fire Restrictions For Mid-South Canterbury

As summer starts to take hold across Mid-South Canterbury, Fire and Emergency New Zealand is declaring further fire season changes across the District.

The Mackenzie Basin, which moved into a restricted season last week, will move into a prohibited season at 8am on Thursday, 21 November, until further notice.

This means a ban on open-air fires in the area. The area is also under a temporary fireworks ban until 31 March, 2024.

In addition, Fire and Emergency Mid-South Canterbury District Manager Rob Hands is declaring a restricted fire season in the Hakataramea Valley, Rangitata, Ashburton and Rakia Gorge zones at 8am on Thursday, 21 November, until further notice.

This means anyone wanting to light an open-air fire will need a permit to do so. You can apply for a permit at

"With the arrival of summer, the weather is rapidly getting warmer, leading to vegetation drying out and the fire danger increasing," Rob Hands says.

"We’ve already seen the effects of this on 15 December when a fire at Station Peak near Hakataramea escaped from a controlled burn and took 10 fire trucks and tankers, as well as three helicopters, to extinguish.

"By entering a restricted fire season, everyone will now need a permit to light a fire and complete a burn. This gives our local team more input and oversight of any fire activity taking place and enables us to give fire safety advice to anyone completing a burn."

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

Wildfire is an ever-present hazard in the Mackenzie District because of its dry and windy climate, the natural vegetation and its topography. The move to a prohibited season has been done to try to prevent any man-made wildfires from occurring. 98 per cent of wildfires in New Zealand are started by people.

"You don’t have to look far to see just how quickly a fire can spread and how devastating the consequences can be," Rob Hands says.

"Memories of Lake Ōhau are still fresh around here, and the Pukaki Downs fire in September brought it home again, but we’re also aiming to get the message through to all the people who holiday in the Mackenzie Basin.

"It only takes one spark to start a wildfire. People should always be aware of any activity that might cause a spark - even mowing carries a fire risk because if the mower hits a stone and causes a spark, this can turn into a wildfire," he says.

"Always check to check it’s safe to mow or carry out any potential spark-generating activities."

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Perils Of Joining AUKUS Pillar Two

The lure for New Zealand to join the AUKUS military alliance is that membership of only its “second pillar” will still (supposedly) give us access to state of the art military technologies. As top US official Kurt Campbell said during his visit to Wellington a year ago:
...We've been gratified by how many countries want to join with us to work with cutting-edge technologies like in the cyber arena, hypersonics, you can go down a long list and it's great to hear that New Zealand is interested...


Government: Backs Police To Crackdown On Gangs
The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell. “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase... More

Government: Retiring Chief Of Navy Thanked For His Service

Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More

Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.