The ownership of historic Ashburton fire equipment owned by the Ashburton council will pass to those caring for the gear.
The deal was signed off by the council’s Finance and Business Support Committee.
Because council will soon no longer have any fire gear – it will go to a new body, Fire and Emergency New Zealand – it wanted to preserve items it owns which date to the 1950s and 1960s.
There was a concern that if the ownership stayed with the council they may in future be sold by staff who may not appreciate their historic value.
The council committee agreed that a 1962 Bedford 4×4 now held by the Plains Museum will stay there, that a V8 trailer pump and a four-cylinder trailer pump stay with the Methven Volunteer Fire Force Supporters Group, that a V8 trailer pump stay with the The Terrace (Ashburton Rural VRFF) and a 1964 Land Rover Redwing go to the Methven group.
Emergency management officer Don Geddes said there was a concern that if they were gifted to Fire and Emergency NZ along with operational plant, their future might lie in the hands of someone in Wellington.
Cr Peter Reveley said the items were being well looked after by the various groups, and Cr Neil Brown said the volunteer groups had a passion for the gear and “that keeps it going”.
Cr Brown said it formalised what had been happening. .