Wildfire Specialist - 12 Month Fixed Term

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Wildfire Specialist - 12 Month Fixed Term

This wildfire specialist role will be required to utilise specialised project management skills, excellent technical writing skills combined with a solid understanding of the workings of government.

About us

Fire and Emergency New Zealand was set up under new legislation in July 2017, combining 40 urban and rural fire services and 14,000 people. We became one national emergency management organisation to keep New Zealanders, their property and our unique environment safe.

Our firefighters educate communities to build their resilience by helping them prepare for, respond to and recover well from emergencies.

We respond to a wide variety of emergencies including motor vehicle accidents, medical emergencies, dealing with hazardous substances, severe weather events and natural disasters. We work to reduce risk to make our communities safer, through fire safety campaigns, research, and by providing advice on the Building Code.

Our people

Nothing is more important to us than our people – he waka eke noa.

We are building a workplace that is safe, respectful and inclusive for all our people. It is fundamental to our purpose and consistent with our values. We activity embrace and value diversity and welcome people from all backgrounds. This helps all people at Fire and Emergency to grow, develop and be their best by providing them with a positive experience throughout their time with us.

About the role

The Wildfire Specialist is accountable for the provision of specialist project management expertise and excellent (technical) communication support, that is associated with the prediction, prevention and management of wildfires, including vegetation fires and fires in commercial forests. They work closely with internal and external stakeholders to enhance understanding and assist in the building of capability in wildfire management. The focus of this role will be in managing defined projects as below. This role may be worked from Christchurch or Wellington and there is some flexibilty for other locations.

Key Accountabilities & Deliverables

  • Provide timely and rigorous specialist wildfire project management expertise and communication to internal and external stakeholders to ensure their analysis and decision-making is well informed and reflects international best practice
  • Lead and manage defined projects to enhance the organisation’s ability to predict, plan, prevent and manage fires in the natural environment
  • Contribute to the organisation’s communication and project management capacity and capability associated with wildfire prediction, prevention and management and fire behaviour analysis
  • Provide specialist project management and technical writing expertise to the development of fire control and risk-reduction policies, processes, tools and guidelines
  • Facilitate the provision of research into international best practice in the prediction, prevention and management of fire in the natural environment working closely with external experts in this field i.e. Scion
  • Provide specialist technical writing and project management expertise across Service
  • Delivery to support the management of fire seasons, wildfire response events, the investigation of fires and international wildfire deployments
  • Ensure the systems, processes and tools that are in place to provide real time intelligence and information to support decision making i.e. weather stations for weather forecasting, are effectively communicated and reach the appropriate audiences.
  • Contribute to building and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders and sector partners, i.e., commercial forest industry in order to achieve shared outcomes
  • Contribute to and support national and international wildfire events and deployments as agreed including communication and project management expertise
  • Participate on the National Coordination Centre (NCC) roster as required Undertake all other reasonable duties as requested and required.   

About you

To succeed in this role, you will be or have

  • Experience providing project management expertise and communication support, ideally on wildfire and vegetation fire matters to internal and external stakeholders
  • Experience communicating highly technical information to a diverse range of audiences
  • Experience working across government to achieve outcomes.
  • Understanding of the New Zealand emergency management system and processes
  • Sound understanding of the risk-reduction frameworks, systems and processes across the emergency sector
  • Understanding of the principles of risk management, including identification, mitigation, likelihood and consequence
  • Sound understanding of the statutory framework and the political, social and economic settings in which the organisation operates, including the machinery of government and policy making process
  • Understanding of readiness, response, reduction and recovery
  • Understanding of wildfire prediction tools, systems and methodologies
  • Understanding of international best practice in wildfire management
  • Understanding of the New Zealand rural fire environment, system and structural frameworks.
  • Relevant qualification desirable (advanced fire behaviour) or equivalent experience  
  • Demonstrated ability to implement and manage projects successfully
  • Demonstrated ability to interpret and apply relevant legislation, regulations and compliance requirements
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate technical matters clearly in both written and verbal contexts
  • Demonstrated ability to convey complex and technical information to a range of audiences
  • Demonstrated ability to credibly represent the organisation in a range of settings
  • Demonstrated credibility with the rural fire community, including staff, contractors, key stakeholders and sector partners
  • Current driver licence
  • Ability to travel nationally frequently and at short notice.


  • Experience working in the Government sector
  • Knowledge and understanding of the OIA and Privacy Act.
  • A professional accreditation or study towards (ie: institute of Risk Management or related) is preferable, or ability to demonstrate equivalent relevant business experience

The salary range for this role is $100,954 - $112,171.

For more information about this role please email nhqjobs@fireandemergency.nz .

How to apply

If this sounds like you, make sure you carefully consider the position description here, so your CV sets out your relevant experience.

You will receive a notification advising we have received your application.

Applications will close Monday 2nd August 2021