Port Hills Operational Review

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Port Hills Operational Review

The Port Hills fires that began on February 13 2017 burnt through 1,600 hectares of land, claimed nine homes and damaged five others. It took 66 days before the fires were fully extinguished. The then New Zealand Fire Service and National Rural Fire Authority commissioned an independent review of the event to learn from the response and make recommendations on how the now newly unified Fire and Emergency New Zealand will carry out its duties in the future.

Fire and Emergency is committed to completing the recommendations made in the Port Hills Review and Action Plan in a timely manner. This first report on the Action Plan shows we have made good progress on implementing the recommendations.

Our actions include:

  • urban and rural firefighters working together in firefighting and in training,
  • determining how we work with other organisations during wildfires.
  • trialing community based approaches to fire risk assessment and prevention.
  • improving how we use cordons and communicate with the public during incidents.

Overall the completion of the Port Hills Action Plan is largely on track although we are behind where we would like to be on some actions. The creation of Fire and Emergency, and the need to address the particular risks of this summer’s fire season, means the completion of some actions have been delayed by up to three months.

Since the fires, we have had a key focus on working closely with the Port Hills community, and that will continue for some time to come. Accordingly we have also decided to widen the public consultation process in Canterbury and other high risk areas, which has pushed that action’s completion date back by six months.  We are making steady progress on these and expect to be back on track before the next report.

For further detail on each of the actions please see the Summary of Port Hills Action Plan – January 2018 update.

This page contains the key documents associated with the review and Action Plan, and the Port Hills fires.

Port Hills Review and Action Plan

Media

Cause and Origin Reports

OIA Documentation

  • 111 calls from the public [PDF, 1MB]
    Transcripts of the calls received from the public by our Southern Communications Centre between 7am and 7pm on 15 February
  • Correspondence [PDF, 2.2MB]
    Key written correspondence between senior leadership during the two weeks following the start of the Port Hills fires.
  • Fire Modelling [PDF, 1.3MB]
    The use of fire modelling systems or tools gives the Incident Management Teams at medium-large scale wildfires an indication of how the fire is likely to behave over a certain period of time.
  • Incident Action Plans [PDF, 7.6MB]
    Incident Action Plans are a tool commonly used during medium-large scale events to ensure that all relevant personnel are aware of the directions being issued by the Incident Management Team.
  • Costs [PDF, 1.1MB]
    Costs associated with the Port Hills Fires.
  • SMS Report [PDF, 1.6MB]
    The SMS report is produced by our automated records held by the Communications Centre.
  • Situation Report [PDF, 19.5MB]
    Situation reports are a tool commonly used during medium-large scale events to ensure all relevant stakeholders are kept informed of the situation and the response being provided. 

Videos