A long-serving Matatā firefighter has been awarded a Queen's Service Medal for her services to the small community.

Bronwyn Dobson, better known as Bonnie, has been a volunteer operational support senior firefighter with the Matatā Volunteer Fire Brigade for more than 20 years.

Dobson received the Queen's Service Medal for services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand and her beloved community of Matatā at a ceremony in Wellington yesterday.

The award was presented by the Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy at Government house.


Dobson has put her heart and soul into the brigade since 1998.

She also became a medical first responder in 2004 and joined St John Whakatane as a volunteer first responder ambulance officer in 2009.

She later qualified as an emergency medical technician and has been employed as an ambulance officer since 2014.

Following the 2005 Matata floods, Dobson played a significant role in establishing a recording system to account for every person in the township and where they were evacuated to.

She is not the only family member to receive the honour. Her husband Brian, also a long-serving fireman, was recognised in the same way two years ago.

"Brian got his medal after 50 years in the brigade, I thought I had another 25 years to go before I would be considered," Dobson laughed.

"Having said that, I have to admit to being completely floored when I learned of my nomination."

Her three daughters have also done their bit for the local fire service.


Dobson had been a member and treasurer of the Matatā Primary School board, has worked for many years with the Matatā village volunteer book exchange, and fundraised for new clubrooms for the Matatā Rugby and Sports Club.