Can I light a fire without a permit?
It depends on the fire danger status at the time. As well as the suppression of fires, Fire and Emergency New Zealand have the responsibility of preventing fires. They do this by monitoring the fire danger and declaring certain fire seasons. The fire season determines whether a permit is required or not.
Can I have a hangi without a permit?
It depends on the fire danger status and the fire season - this will determine whether a permit is required or not.
If in doubt to what the fire season status is please consult the website www.havingafire.org.nz or call and speak to Principal Rural Fire Officer.
As a general guide, caution is required from the months of October through to April.
What are the fire seasons?
There are three fire seasons:
Fire Season Status - PROHIBITED
On the signs known as "grapefruit signs" (located on main roads throughout the district), the arrow indicates the potential for a fire to escape. This sign is designed to inform Northlanders about the fire danger in their community. Communities should be more vigilant around the use of fire as the danger increases.
The Northland district has two zones and at certain times of the year they may have different fire season statuses. It is important for Northlanders to know which zone they are in and be mindful of the fire danger at all times.
How do I know what the fire season is?
Fire and Emergency New Zealand Principal Rural Fire Officer notifies changes of the fire season by either radio announcement or newspaper advertisement. Billboards are placed in high risk areas and flyers are delivered to letterboxes. The fire danger 'grapefruit' is adjusted accordingly. This information is also available directly from the Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
The Northern Fire and Emergency New Zealand website www.havingafire.org.nz holds maps showing the zones and also advises the current fire season status for your area. You can apply for permits through the website if one is required or through the Northern Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
Does a permit absolve me from responsibility for a fire should it escape?
No, the person who lights / causes a fire is always responsible for it whether they have a permit or not. However failure to obtain a permit or proper authorisation is an offence against the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 and could result in prosecution, conviction and cost recovery action.
If a fire gets out of control who do I contact for help?
Always dial 111 and ask for Fire Service. Telecom transfers the call to the Fire Service Control Room Operator who takes the details of the fire and location and dispatches the fire fighters. Usually the nearest fire brigade responds and the Northern Fire and Emergency New Zealand Principal Rural Fire Officer is notified at the same time. If appropriate the Fire and Emergency New Zealand team also responds resources to fight the fire.
For the current Fire Season Status and any other information please contact:
Phone: (09) 401 0723