Rural Fire

On 1 July 2017, the new Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 came into force.

This Act repeals the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1997, with immediate effect.

Information, brochures and guidance material related to this website, and this webpage will be progressively updated to reflect the requirements of the Act.  If you have any questions, please contact Fire and Emergency New Zealand on 0800 658 628

Current Fire Season Status

To view the current Fire Season Status check it's Alright to Light.  You can also apply for a Fire Permit on that site.

Permits are required for all fires in the open air except for:

  • Gas cooker or gas barbeque

  • Contained barbeque

  • Cultural (hangi, umu)

Area within 3km of the Coast

Residents who reside or own land within three (3) kilometres of the coastline require a permit all year round.

Areas Outside the 3km Coastal Margin

Burnoffs should only be carried out during daylight hours, a minimum of a 5 metre fire break should be created around the material to be burnt. Fires must be a minimum of 5 metres from buildings, the boundary and other combustible material. Do not light in windy conditions. Ensure that you are equipped to extinguish the fire should the fire get out of control. Fires are to be supervised at all times. Ensure the fire is completely extinguished before leaving the site.

For significant fires, advise Fire Communications on 04 801 0812.   Landowners can contact the Manawatu Fire and Emergency Principlal Rural Fire Officer on 0800 658 628 for advice as required.


Manawatu Fire and Emergency New Zealand / Fire Plan

The Manawatu District with a population of over 29,000 covers an area of 253,164 hectares, commonly referred to as "The Manawatu", the district is based on the town of Feilding and includes the area between the Manawatu River in the south and the Manawatu River in the north; stretching from Himatangi the south, to Mangaweka in the north; and from the Manawatu River in the west to the summits of the Ruahine Ranges in the east.

Manawatu Fire and Emergency New Zealand has one Volunteer Rural Fire force with 15 volunteer fire fighters who give freely of their time to protect their community.

This Fire Plan sets out how the Manawatu Fire and Emergency New Zealand implements its policies and procedures to fulfil its statutory obligations and responsibilities to manage the risk if rural fires that may occur.This Rural Fire Plan has been written in accordance with Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017.

To read the Fire Plan 2016 click here

Fire Season

Residents should assume that all outdoor fires are open air fires unless advised otherwise by the Manawatu Fire and Emergency New Zealand Principal Rural Fire Officer.

There are three fire seasons:


No permit is needed to light a fire in the open air.


A permit is required to light a fire in the open air.


Lighting of fires is not permitted in the open air.


Do I need a permit to light a fire?

The fire season determines whether a permit is needed. Urban residents require a permit all year round (contact council on 06 323 0000 for details).

What happens if a fire gets out of control?

Dial 111 and ask for the Fire Service.

It's Your Responsibility

The person who lights the fire is always responsible. Failure to obtain a permit during a restricted fire season is an offence against the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 and could result in a conviction.

A permit does not absolve you of responsibility.

Other useful links

Horizons Regional Council  Link to External Website

Fire and Emergency New Zealand Link to External Website