More Top Stories

National
Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022

Business

Moment of truth at COP27

12 November 2022

Local

We’re halfway there!

16 November 2022

Paddling

From the river to the ocean

18 November 2022

New Zealand to send firefighter trainers to Cook Islands

Thursday 27 October 2022 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in Features, Local

Share

New Zealand to send firefighter trainers to Cook Islands
Manager for firefighter’s development for Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Mike Williams plans to send NZ trainers to Rarotonga early next year to help local brigades. - 22102503

New Zealand firefighters are scheduled to train Cook Islands brigade volunteers early next year.

Manager for firefighter’s development for Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Mike Williams said his organisation had an agreement with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to support training in the Cook Islands and Niue.

“It's just about supporting the islands really and helping out where we can,” Williams said.

“As a result of Covid we have had no one going either way for the last three years.

“I think 2019 was the last bit of training that we had.”

Williams arrived in Rarotonga on Friday for the Puaikura Volunteer Fire Brigade’s 20th anniversary as a representative from Fire and Emergency New Zealand. He returned to New Zealand on Wednesday.

Williams said he met the local brigade chiefs to see what training his organisation could offer.

“We discussed the needs right across from basic firemanship for the newer people that are joining right up to what we would call a senior fire fighter level.”

The training will be on running hoses, wearing breathing apparatus and “hopefully” doing live fire drills, Williams said.

He said it would also be about vegetation fires which he thought was the highest cause of fire in the Cook Islands.

Williams said he wanted to see the training happen in February or March 2023.

“We definitely need to see it happen within the first half of next year anyway.”

In 2019 New Zealand trainers spent two weeks working with local brigades.

Williams said Puaikura Volunteer Fire Brigade’s 20th anniversary was “fantastic”.

He said Puaikura Volunteer Fire Brigade members Jason and Tarina Moorfield convinced New Zealand’s United Fire Brigade Association to give recognition awards for its member’s service.

“They had to provide a huge amount of evidence and jump through a whole heap of hoops and I believe there was a JP whose pen ran out signing everything off.”