World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


New Zealand firefighters assisting in New South Wales

Twenty-six New Zealand firefighters are departing for Australia on Thursday (Thursday 21 November) to help fight the wild fires burning in New South Wales since the start of September.

The New Zealand contingent of five five-person crews and one strike team leader will arrive in Sydney on Thursday evening, before being deployed to fires around the state.

These crews are in addition to around 50 New Zealand Fire and Emergency personnel already in Australia.

Large wildfires have been raging in both New South Wales and Queensland for the past ten weeks.

As of 20th November, there were nearly 60 active bushfires in New South Wales.

"Wildfire behaviour in New South Wales remains extreme and firefighting conditions are tough as the weather conditions remain hot, dry and windy," says Tim Mitchell, Manager Rural Fire, Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

"Fighting fires of this size is a hugely demanding job and we’re happy to continue supporting our Australian colleagues when we’re needed."

The New Zealand crews will be working 12 hour shifts for two five-day rotations. There will be a rest day between the rotations and an internal travel day on either side.

"Overseas deployments provide valuable firefighting experience in different environments that our people can use when fighting wildfires back home," says Tim Mitchell.

Over the past 19 years we’ve deployed more than 1000 people overseas; Nearly 200 of them in the past 12 months to Australia. Since 2000 we have deployed 28 times to Canada, USA and Australia.

Deployed personnel are from:






Marlborough Sounds






© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Recent Upheavals Inside Iran

In the fortnight since the Internet got switched back on in Iran, the ferocity of the crackdown on the recent demonstrations has become evident. Reportedly, hundreds of people have been killed, thousands wounded and thousands more have been arrested. More>>


UN Emissions Report: World On Course For Climate Spike

Even if countries meet commitments made under the 2015 Paris Agreement, the world is heading for a 3.2 degrees Celsius global temperature rise over pre-industrial levels… More>>


Pacific: Tongan PM 'Akilisi Pohiva Dies, Aged 78

A constant thorn in the side of the monarchy and nobility, Mr Pohiva's lifelong battle for representation had seen him fired from the public service and charged with sedition... More>>


Untied Kingdom: UK PM Moves To Suspend Parliament In Weeks Before Brexit

The Prime Minister has briefed Cabinet colleagues that the government will bring forward an ambitious new legislative programme for MPs’ approval, and that the current parliamentary session will be brought to an end. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Hong Kong Protest Movement

The pro-democracy protests enjoy huge support among Hong Kong’s youth, partly because the democratic systems currently at risk have only a limited time span. More>>