Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977

Before its repeal, this Act was administered by: Department of Internal Affairs
  • repealed
  • Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977: repealed, on 1 July 2017, by section 195(b) of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 (2017 No 17).

Reprint as at 1 July 2017

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977

Public Act
1977 No 52
Date of assent
21 November 1977
see section 1(2)

Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977: repealed, on 1 July 2017, by section 195(b) of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 (2017 No 17).


Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the Department of Internal Affairs.


1Short Title and commencement
3Act to bind Crown
3ADelegation of powers by Minister of Forestry [Repealed]
3BDelegation of powers by Secretary [Repealed]
4Rural fire districts
5Preliminary steps before rural fire district constituted or boundaries changed
6Specially protected property
7Fire Authority in rural fire districts
7ANew Zealand Forestry Corporation rural fire district [Repealed]
8Rural fire committees
9Fire Authority’s powers in areas of urban vegetation
10Fire Authority in territorial areas
11Fire Authority in State areas
11AFire safety margins
11BExclusion of land from fire safety margin
12Duties of Fire Authorities
13Fire Officers and other employees
14Joint, etc, exercise of statutory fire control powers
15Supply of apparatus and firefighting services
16Mutual arrangements for fire control measures
17Forest areas
18Obligations of Rural Fire Authorities and National Rural Fire Authority in respect of fire control measures
19Fire control measures
20Prohibition of fires during extreme fire hazard
21Prohibition of certain operations during periods of extreme fire hazard
22Restricted or prohibited fire seasons
23Permits required to light fires in open air
24Special permits when lighting of fires in open air prohibited
25Spread of fires to State areas, forest areas, and specially protected property
26Offence to leave burning or smouldering substance
27Fire Authority may require firebreaks to be made or cleared
28Appeal from notice to make firebreak or escape route or remove combustible material
29Power of Fire Authority on default of owner
30Regulations may require maintenance of firefighting equipment by rural fire committees
31Restriction on operation of spark-hazardous engines
32Restriction on entry into exotic forests, etc
33Maintenance of apparatus by persons cutting timber
34Duties of licensees, etc, of State areas
35Duty of persons in vicinity to endeavour to extinguish fires
36Powers of Principal Fire Officers or Rural Fire Officers at fires
37Police to assist Fire Officers
38Requisition by Fire Officer of assistance to extinguish fires
39Regional fire emergency
41Liability for costs
42Charge for use of another fire brigade
43Recovery from person responsible for fire
44Estimate of proposed expenditure
45Provisions for meeting ordinary requirements of the Fire Authority of a rural fire district
46Levy for costs of firefighting in districts other than State areas
46ALevy for costs of firefighting in fire safety margins attached to State areas
47Levy for costs of firefighting in State areas [Repealed]
48Imposition of levies, and recovery of levies and other money
49Appeals against levies and determinations
50Expenditure by territorial authorities [Repealed]
51Payment of fire control costs following regional fire emergency
52Appeal against apportionment of firefighting costs in regional fire emergency
53Right of recovery in certain cases
54Fire Authority may borrow money
55Damage in firefighting to be damage by fire within meaning of fire policy
56Saving of Fire Authorities and Fire Officers, etc, from liability in certain cases
57No action against Fire Authority for failure to provide against fire
58Inspections for purposes of Act
59Inquiries as to fires
60Measures by local authorities and public bodies to remove certain fire hazards
60AImposition of annual levy on Fire Authorities [Repealed]
60BRate of levy [Repealed]
60CRecovery of amount of levy [Repealed]
60DFailure to supply return [Repealed]
60EPenalty for late payment [Repealed]
60FAmount of goods and services tax included [Repealed]
62Time within which charging document must be filed
64Panel of persons who may be appointed as Rural Fire Mediators
64ARural Fire Mediators
65Appeals from decision of Rural Fire Mediator
66Annual report
68Reserve powers of Minister [Repealed]
69Consequential amendments
Reprint notes

An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to the safeguarding of life and property by the prevention, detection, control, restriction, suppression and extinction of fire in forest and rural areas and other areas of vegetation