Fire & Emergency New Zealand

Statement from Chief Executive Kerry Gregory - Muriwai Incident

Statement from Chief Executive Kerry Gregory - Muriwai Incident

Last night, a crew from one of our volunteer fire brigades were investigating flooding in a house on Motutara Road in Muriwai. While they were at the property, a landslide occurred on the slope above, and the house collapsed.
Two of our firefighters were trapped. One was rescued early this morning and is in a critical condition in hospital. The search for our second firefighter was suspended in the early hours of the morning due to the instability of the land.

A full rescue operation was initiated as soon as the landslide occurred, involving 10 crews from seven brigades and including Urban Search and Rescue (USAR), Police and St John.

A geotechnical assessment of the area will be carried out as soon as possible so decisions can be made about resuming the search.

Our thoughts are with our firefighters, and with their loved ones. We are also providing support to the other members of their brigade. This is a very difficult time for them, and for every member of Fire and Emergency NZ when we are also focused on responding to the continuing need in so many communities across the North Island today.

I expect to provide more information at a media briefing later this morning.