For firefighter Daniel Garton, the fire siren reverberating around the Hikurangi community will be a welcome noise.

For the past 12 months the team of volunteers have been alerted to emergency callouts either by phone or pager while the Hikurangi fire station was under construction.

Now the volunteers are ready to roll at country's newest state-of-the-art fire station.

"I get a gut feeling when it's going to go off. It will be great to hear that noise again," Mr Garton said of the siren.


The $1 million station was officially declared open at 11.34am on Saturday by New Zealand Fire Service chief executive and national commander Paul Baxter.

Mr Baxter said the brigade was providing a world-class service and responded to an increasing range of emergencies, including car crashes, chemical spills, and wild weather events.

He said the volunteers were the heart of the Fire Service.

"Without the people we wouldn't have the organisation we have. This new station is an asset to the brigade and the community."

The last Hikurangi station was built on the same site in 1954 and the latest building was the third on the same site.

The brigade was 101 years old according to official records but Chief Fire Officer Snow Buckton said it could be even older.

Mr Buckton said if all the years volunteers had given to the brigade were added together, it totalled 1789 years. He said during that time they had rescued a parrot from a tree, a cat from behind a cupboard and doused scrub fires.

"There have been sad times and good times."

Former member Paula Crawshaw travelled from Temuka in the South Island to attend the opening. When she was a volunteer she was almost always the first at the station, conveniently living right next door.

Each member of the current brigade was presented with a special key ring.