Who's Who

John Foley Principal Rural Fire Officer for Marlborough Kaikoura Fire and Emergency New Zealand

John Foley

Born in Blenheim.

Boarding school – Silver Stream College.

Shearing School – Bank House.

Worked on farms and sheep stations both here and Australia.

1987 joined the New Zealand Fire Service as a Volunteer with the Blenheim Brigade.

Owned a Security company for over twenty years.

Founding member of the Waihopai Rural Fire Force.

Deputy Principal Rural Fire Officer from 1999 to 2017.

As from 1 July I will be acting as Principal Rural Fire Officer for Marlborough Kaikoura Fire and Emergency New Zealand, based in Blenheim.

Richard (Mac) McNamara Regional Manager Rural for Fire & Emergency New Zealand

Richard (Mac) McNamara

I started my working life in Nth Otago in agricultural science before moving to Invermay Research Station Mosgiel to work in the field of soil physics. After 18 years in research I moved onto land management for DOC in the Mackenzie Country - Sth Island, working on wilding pine spread in tussock grasslands and assessing Himalayan Tahr populations in the Southern Alps.

In Twizel, I gained the position of Programme Manager for recreation assets and fire management. I did this for 10 years which included wildfire operations deployments to the USA, Australia and throughout NZ. I took the role of Chief Ranger/Area Manager at Aoraki Mount Cook for 5 more years, which included national park managment, alpine search and rescue oversight and the role of Principal Fire Officer of the Mt Cook Industrial Brigade.  I took on my current position as PRFO in 2012.

From 1 July 2017 I will fill the role of Regional Manager Rural for Region 4 of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

I am a fire aviation specialist for one of NZ's Wildfire National Incident Management Teams and currently am the NZ rep on the Fire and Emergency Service Aviation Technical Group of AFAC (Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Council).

Little known fact: My family come from India, with roots going back to before the first world war.

Gail Stewart Business Services Coordinator / Marlborough Kaikoura Fire & Emergency

Gail Stewart

Born in Christchurch.  Many moves later relocated to Blenheim.

My career background has been Office Administration/Management in both a self-employed role and salaried role.

I have been involved with the rural fire sector for approximately 5 years now.  On 1 July 2017 I accepted the role as Business Services Coordinator of the Fire & Emergency New Zealand Marlborough Kaikoura district.

Ken Rodley Depot Manager Marlborough Kaikoura Regional Fire Depot

Ken Rodley

Ken joined the MKRFA as Regional Depot Manager in Nov 2015, after filling the same position for the Dept of Conservation Renwick.  Ken is a fire manager with over 35 years of experience working as a professional urban fire fighter for the New Zealand Fire Service in the Wellington region and latterly as a Rural Fire Officer with DOC.  Ken has also been a stalwart Station Officer for the NZFS Renwick  Volunteer Urban Brigade up until the end of 2015, when he retired to concentrate on his new position with the MKRFA.

Ken has also deployed to Victoria Australia as part of New Zealand contingents to assist the Australians in tackling large bush fires burning in the alpine and subalpine regions of the state.

Ken brings to the MKRFA a wealth of knowledge and experience in managing fire fighting equipment and suppressant supplies and was key to the Authority's successful take-over of the Regional Fire Depot.

He accepted an offer with Fire and Emergency New Zealand and is currently employed as the Manager of the Marlborough Kaikoura Fire Depot.

Chris Hayles Deputy Principal Rural Fire Officer

Chris Hayles

Chris is a founding member of the Blenheim Volunteer Rural Fire Force and has been a Rural Fire Officer with the MKRFA since its inception in 2012.  He has done a number of overseas deployments to fires in Victoria, Australia and recently to Alberta, Canada; there taking on the role of helicopter coordinator on two large fires in the province.

Chris is one of the MKRFA's Initial Attack Incident Controllers/Operations Managers and crews the authority's HeliAttack deployment when required.  He is also taking on the lead in the MKRFA's Air Attack role.

Recently Chris has accepted the role of Deputy Principal Rural Fire Office of Marlborough Kaikoura district.