In the late 1860s Hokitika was a dynamic gold rush town, growing to become New Zealand’s sixth largest town by 1867. From humble beginnings with a single store in October 1864, it mushroomed into a thriving metropolis by September of 1865, with 246 buildings in Revell St alone (67 of these being hotels).
With threat of fire in the closely built streets a constant worry, the Hokitika Improvement Society initiated the discussion to establish a Fire Brigade in September 1865. After a couple months of debate on the matter, on 27th of November 1865 the Hokitika Volunteer Fire Brigade was formed, with its first meeting at the Harp of Erin Hotel.
The Hokitika VFB is one of the oldest fire brigades in New Zealand, and fire fighting in Hokitika has now spanned three centuries. This has meant that there are a few families in the district have had a significant association with the Brigade, and have contributed a number of years service to the NZ Fire Service. The Ross family have contributed over 268 years in the Hokitika VFB, with family members still serving, and the Thompson family 200 plus years. Another family of note is the Davidson family 191 years of combined service.
We also have a large number of Gold Star member and life honorary members.