Hahei Fire Chief, Ian Carter’s service to Fire and Emergency New Zealand and the community has been recognised with a Queen’s Service Medal awarded to him in the Queen’s Birthday and Platinum Jubilee Honours List announced on Monday this week.
Mr Carter has been a member of Hahei Volunteer Fire Brigade since its inception in 1974 and has been Chief Fire Officer since 1996. He was part of a group that lobbied for better fire protection in Hahei, leading to the acquisition of second-hand fire equipment and the establishment of the Hahei brigade as an auxiliary unit of the Whitianga Volunteer Fire Brigade. He was Officer in Charge of the Hahei brigade from 1976 to 1982.
In 1996, Hahei became a standalone Volunteer Fire Brigade and Mr Carter became the inaugural Chief Fire Officer. He is one of the foundation members of the Fire and Emergency Peer Support Group. He was also instrumental in the establishment of an ongoing working partnership between Fire and Emergency, the Hot Water Beach Surf Lifesaving Service and St John Ambulance.
Mr Carter qualified as a lifeguard in his teenage years, becoming a member of the Hot Water Beach Lifeguard Service in the early 1990s, where he has remained active as a mentor and member of the committee. He has also developed a walking track through his farm outside Hahei to Cathedral Cove, allowing Mercury Bay residents and tourists to walk from Whitianga to Hahei, and first responders to have easier access to Cathedral Cove.
Pictured is Mr Carter helping to put out a large fire at the Mercury Bay Golf Club in January last year.