Wildfire Readiness and Prevention

The challenge

The risk and impact of wildfire is increasing in New Zealand due to climate change, but also how and where we are living. We’re seeing an increase in the frequency of significant wildfires in New Zealand over the last 3-4 years.

Large wildfires like the 2017 Port Hills, 2019 Tasman, 2020 Lake Ohau, 2021/2022 Waiharara fires occurring every 1-2 years, resulting in significant impact and losses. In addition, many of these significant wildfires are happening in the shoulder months rather than the typical summer period.

Approx. 3% of wildfires
cause 95% of the area burnt

99% of wildfires are
caused by people in New Zealand


The approach

Our Wildfire Readiness and Prevention campaign features:

  • pushing real-time local fire danger status to people in key locations via various online channels and digital outdoor billboards if the danger is high, very high or extreme
  • delivering real-time and localised fire danger level and fire season information across MetService’s desktop and app platforms
  • former NZ rugby player Christian Cullen, to remind people of the tips for safe backcountry cooking, campfires, beach bonfire and backyard BBQs
  • the much-loved feathered ambassadors to highlight fire danger in selected channels such as DoC locations
  • NZ rugby player, Samuel Whitelock, to help educate rural and semi-rural communities about simple ways they can keep themselves and their property safe.

Finally, we have partnered with TVNZ to integrate key wildfire prevention messages into four episodes of a highly popular TVNZ drama that will feature scenes relevant to our wildfire prevention campaign. The episodes will play w/c 12 December.