Shelly Beach Voluntary Rural Fire Force

James McLeod Road, Shelly Beach, South Head, New Zealand, Ph 09 420 2503, Fax 09 420 2509

South Head and the Shelly Beach Voluntary Rural Fire Force

On the South Head Peninsula there are three Fire Districts.

One is the Helensville district, monitored, administered and protected by the Helensville Volunteer Fire Brigade. This district is part of Rodney, and as such Fire Permits may be issued by the Principal Rural Fire Officer - Scott Marchant of the Rodney District Council. The Helensville area stops at Tarawera Road.

A second district is the Woodhill Riverhead Rural Fire District. This district is monitored and administered by Hancock's Forest Management, by way of the Principal Rural Fire Officer - Alan Flux who also is responsible for the issuing of permits within that district. This district includes the whole area of Woodhill and Riverhead Forests and extends out 1km from the forest boundary. All properties within this 1km fall into this district for administration purposes, so any fires or lighting of fires are subject to this districts policies.

The third district is the South Head area of the Rodney Rural Fire District. This district is from Tarawera Road and north, to the tip of South head and is administered by the Principal Rural Fire Officer - Scott Marchant of the Rodney Rural Fire Authority, however, it is also subject to administration by the Chief Fire Officer - Adam Knezovic of the Shelly Beach Voluntary Rural Fire Force. The Shelly Beach Voluntary Rural Fire Force is responsible to monitor and protect this district and the Chief Fire Officer is able to issue permits for this area. It should be noted here that the SBVRFF also provide medical assistance in this district.

All inquiries within any of these three districts about fire permits, fire seasons, do's and don'ts should be directed first and foremost to the person concerned with that particular district.

The Woodhill Riverhead Rural Fire District has a all-year-round restricted fire season, so any fires lit within that district at any time, must have a permit issued by Alan Flux.

The Rodney Rural Fire District has a restricted season between 01st December to the following 31st of March inclusive. Any fires lit within that district within that period, must have a fire permit. These can be issued by Scott Marchant or Adam Knezovic, subject to conditions.

Any of these districts may be subject to a prohibited fire season, where no fires are allowed to be lit at all, and these seasons are announced in the local papers and media.

Contact details for the above people are:
Alan Flux - (09) 634-2682 or (021) 054-8654
Scott Marchant - 0800 426516 or (021) 427-599
Adam Knezovic - (09) 420-2503 or (027) 469-0241

In the Rodney Rural Fire District, Fire Permits are REQUIRED during any Restricted Fire season. The Restricted Fire Season is usually in force from 01st December through to the 31st March INCLUSIVE

All fires (including incinerators) require a fire permit during the restricted season.

The use of barbeques which use or contain solid fuels are prohibited on public land and reserves.
Gas Fuelled barbeques and gas cookers are exempt from this notice.

Fires cannot be lit on beaches at any time. This includes bonfires.

Once a Restricted fire season comes into force, all previously issued permits become null and void and even if you have a permit for any period within the Restricted season, if that permit is issued BEFORE the Restricted season comes into effect, it is null and void and you will be required to have an up-to-date one issued.

Fire permits can be applied for from the Shelly Beach Voluntary Rural Fire Force. A Rural Fire Officer will work with you to complete a fire permit application form. Permits can be granted for periods of time, depending on weather conditions, the fire risk and the time of year.

For more information click here

Permits will not be granted during a Prohibited fire season.

Once a Prohibited fire season is declared and published in the local newspaper, all previously issued permits become null and void.

Permits for the South Head area are issued free of charge as required. However, prior booking is required: two days for small burns, seven days for larger fires or fires that require a burn plan.

You may contact the SBVRFF Chief Fire Officer for a permit on 027 469 0241
or alternatively contact the
Rodney Rural Fire Authority Principal Rural Fire Officer on 021 427 599

Email your questions or queries to the
SBVRFF Chief Fire Officer here
or the
Rodney Rural Fire Authority Principal Rural Fire Officer here.

Here is a simple checklist for you to use before applying for your fire permit. Ensuring that these things have been taken into account will speed up your application.

How close is the burning area to conservation areas or commercial forests?
What is the topography surrounding the burning area and what effect will it have on the fire i.e. altitude, slope, aspect (N, S, E, W)?
Are there any firebreaks nearby?
What are the ground conditions?
If the fire spreads, how far can it go?
Is there a water supply nearby?
Are there any cables or power lines nearby?
Are there any underground services nearby?
Are there any railway lines nearby?
Are there any roads nearby? (Smoke hazard)
Have the neighbours been notified?
Will there be a smoke nuisance?
How visible is the burn site?
What is the purpose of the burn? Is this the only technique which can be used?
What has the weather been like recently i.e. temperature, rainfall?
Will there be someone to watch the fire until it is completely extinguished?
How long do you need a permit for? Are the weather conditions likely to change during this time? Long range forecast.
Is there access to the burn area e.g. locked gates? slips across tracks?
All fire permits are revoked when a prohibited fire season is declared.

Under the Forest And Rural Fires Act 1977, a person who causes a vegetation fire can be charged with the costs of extinguishing it.


You could be personally liable for the costs associated with a fire on rural land if you are responsible for causing it. The costs of fighting fires in rural areas are passed on to the individuals responsible and could run from $10,000 to more than $100,000.
The average helicopter costs around $2000 per hour.

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