The downturn in many New Zealand regional towns has affected vital community services like volunteer fire brigades.

Taihape Fire Chief Curly (Alan) Troon said the numbers in the town had diminished the number of volunteers joining the brigade and it had become practically impossible to recruit young chaps.

"Getting both trucks out is a problem. Luckily we do get backup from Waiouru and Mangaweka."

Because State Highway One the main route north and south runs through the district, traffic accidents make up more than 35 percent of the call outs, he said.


"At night we can get a crew but during the day it pretty hopeless because everyone is working."

The brigade is six people down and it doesn't look like it will change anytime soon, he said.

However, a woman who moved to Taihape from Wellington two years ago is determined to raise funds for community groups.

Last year Rata Sidwell raised $5,300 towards the Majestic movie theatre's digital upgrade.

She's using the method again this year hoping to raise the same if not more for Taihape's Volunteer Fire Brigade.

Rata is again bringing in Wellington rock chicks group the "Beat Girls", has hired the Taihape Town hall, organised people to do the catering and ensured a marvellous night will be had by all.

"People were still buzzing in the streets last year for a week after they loved it so much. But it was a fantastic night."

Even though there is a hiphop band at the pub in town and probably a big rugby game as well she's not letting it get her down.


"No we'll fire away and it will a fabulous night again."

Taihape was her home now, she said.

"I spent years as a tour guide around New Zealand and I know how beautiful it is here. Taihape is a lovely town."