28 Jun 2013

Taranaki rural fire-fighting service to merge

6:38 pm on 28 June 2013

Taranaki's rural fire-fighting service is to merge four areas into one. The amalgamation is part of a national programme to reduce 120 fire districts throughout the country to less than 20.

Under the old system South Taranaki, Stratford, the New Plymouth district and the Department of Conservation had their own fire boundaries, separate permit systems and rural fire officers.

The new principal rural fire officer for Taranaki says the merger from Monday will provide a simpler management structure under one system.

Nigel Dravitzki says the same people will be on the ground responding to fires and it is not a cost-cutting measure.

Nine amalgamations of rural fire districts have taken place since 2009, with the Wellington area to merge next in October this year.