Local firefighters have shown their support for Fire and Emergency New Zealand - with the Central Lakes area commander describing the new organisation as "fantastic".

Rotorua fire fighters came together to celebrate the start of Fire and Emergency New Zealand - which brings together New Zealand's rural, urban, career and volunteer firefighters of 40 organisations into a new single organisation.

Members of local brigades had a "day one" breakfast at the National Fire Training Centre in Rotorua today.

Central Lakes Area Commander Jeff Maunder said the change was fantastic.


"It's recognition of what's gone on before and really enabling," he said.

"The changes encourage, no they insist, that we engage with a wider variety of activities.

"Over time it will refine down."

Mr Maunder said the fire service already covered everything from fires to hazardous spills, motor vehicle accidents, medical call outs and flooding.

"Effectively it's the go to for all emergencies other than law enforcement," he said.

The process to become Fire and Emergency New Zealand began two years ago and Mr Maunder said it had been "robust".

"The project has gone out of its way to not only ask internally want we want to see, but to ask the public as well," he said.

"Now, in two years we'll all be one entity."


Pumicelands district deputy principal rural fire officer Bob Boardman said he thought it was a great decision.

"It's a very good process they've gone through to bring the strands together," he said.

"We've got the makings of being a really great future organisation."

National training centre manager Ian Pickard has been part of the New Zealand Fire Service for its entire 46 years.

"I'm really proud to see the organisation moving forward," he said.

Under Fire and Emergency New Zealand there will be increased communication and teamwork between volunteers, rural and career firefighters.

Tokoroa Volunteer Brigade chief fire officer Dave Morris said the change in legislation will benefit them all as a whole.

"In smaller towns like here we already have been, so we won't notice a lot of change straight away.

"I think it's a great thing for the service, but everybody has to work together to make it work."