No declared emergencies

Saturday 29 Apr - 3:40 pm


NZ-RT12 Waimakariri District

Key contacts

Team Leader: Jonathan (Willie) Williams

Phone: 021 480 856

Deputy Team Leader Admin/Training Officer: Chris Field

Phone: 021 404 740

Logistics/Procurement Officer: Michael (Mike) Bryce

Phone: 022 021 1051

Health and Safety Officer: Andrew Hurley

Phone: 027 479 1516


Waimakariri CDEM Manager: Brennan Wiremu

Waimakariri Emergency Management Office

Phone: 03 311 8900 or 021 480 829


History and activities

NZ-RT12 is a registered volunteer organisation established in the mid 1990s when it became obvious that the district could be isolated from the Christchurch City area by the Waimakariri River that runs the full length of its southern boundary. One of the focal points of the team was to become registered as a NZ Urban Search and Rescue Team. In March 2005 the team registered as NZ-RT12, joining the network of registered response teams. NZ-RT12 now provides USAR response capability to the Canterbury Emergency Management Group to better fulfil its requirements under the 2002 Act.

For some years the team operated mainly in the Rangiora and Kaiapoi area and trained regularly, competing in a number of competitions including the Cliff Dale Trophy run by the then Ministry of Civil Defence for rescue teams throughout the South Island.

As the team developed the need for a more professional approach towards training and equipment was recognised. The existing equipment trailer was too small. A larger dedicated unit was manufactured following fundraising by the Tuahiwi Residents Association and the council. Equipment for the trailer was resourced from the council, through community donations and the support of local business groups. MainPower and Kaiapoi Electricity jointly donated a 7m wooden ladder and other local business’s donated fire extinguishers and other rescue equipment. NZ-RT12 now has its own dedicated training and storage facility in Rangiora and training is held fortnightly on a Wednesday night and the occasional weekend exercise.

All team members must hold a minimum qualification of ‘Orange Card Responder’, which is a NZ Fire Service certification ensuring minimum industry standard of competency. There are also specialists within the team, including swift water rescue, technical rope rescuer, PHEC and medic.

Recent deployments have included a river rescue and most recently the July 2008 storm event in Waimakariri. Future deployments may include such things as earthquake or storm events, collapsed buildings, landslips, pandemic support and mass casualty accidents or incidents. The team is also trained up the installation of new flood barriers systems council purchased following the 2008 storms.

NZ-RT12 has strong direct connections to the New Zealand Fire Service, Rural Fire, and St John. We currently have 19 active members, but may recruit up to a maximum of 20.

Team goals

As our major risks in the area are flooding and storms, the team are looking to continually hone skills in this area.