Celebrating 150 Years of Firefighting in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

Celebrating 150 Years of Firefighting in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

Published: Friday 1 March, 2024


Get down to The Cloud on Auckland's Queens Wharf on Sunday 17 March for a free open day celebrating 150 years of firefighting in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.
Join firefighters past and present as they mark the 150th anniversary of the Auckland Fire Brigade with exhibitions, displays and exciting demonstrations. This is your chance to get a close look at original fire trucks and equipment dating back to the 1800s as well as the modern appliances used today. Bring the whole whānau to The Cloud for a fun day for firefighter enthusiasts young and old.

Image: Auckland firefighters and fire engine, 1924. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections.

What’s happening on the day?

  • Get up close to original fire trucks and equipment dating back to the 1800s, including rare exhibits from the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) and the Auckland Fire Brigade Historical Society.
  • Fire appliances and specialist gear used by Fire and Emergency NZ in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland today.
  • Demonstrations by Fire and Emergency’s specialist High Angle Rescue and Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams.
  • Exhibitions of archival material telling the rich history of firefighting in the region.
  • Displays highlighting the trailblazing Auckland men and women who contributed to the creation of today’s firefighting and emergency response.
  • Fire safety, risk and readiness interactive activities and education resources.

Image: Auckland Airport Panther.

Fire and Emergency NZ’s partner agencies including NZ Police, Hato Hone St John, Auckland Emergency Management, NZ Defence Force, Red Cross and others will also be taking part.

Auckland Fire Brigade Historical Society spokesperson, Terry Hewitt, says the event will be a significant milestone not just for firefighters and the public who attend, but for Tāmaki Makaurau.

"As firefighting has evolved over the past 150 years, so too has the social, economic, and cultural fabric of the region," he says.

"This significant anniversary highlights the changes and advancements that have not only helped modernise emergency training and response but have shaped our communities, towns, and cities."

Auckland’s first official fire brigade was established in 1874 and consisted of a fire chief and a small team of dedicated volunteers who dragged their few hoses, hose reels, and ladders to attend fires in the inner city and a few fringe suburbs.

Today, Fire and Emergency New Zealand serves and protects a population of more than 1.3 million Aucklanders using the latest fire trucks, equipment, and technology with paid and volunteer staff.


Find out more at the Celebrating 150 years of firefighting in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland Facebook page.

Plan your journey ahead of time to avoid the traffic and parking. 


150 Years of Firefighting in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

10 am - 3 pm, Sunday 17 March 2024

The Cloud, Queens Wharf, 89 Quay Street Auckland


Bring your sunscreen and bottled drinking water

Find out more!

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