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.

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.

Sonia Millard Business Services Coordinator / Marlborough Kaikoura Fire & Emergency

Sonia Millard

Sonia joined the Marlborough Kaikoura Rural Fire District as a Business Service Coordinator on 10 September 2018 working in a part-time capacity.  Prior to this she was a Customer Services Officer for nearly ten years with the Marlborough District Council.

In 2013 Sonia joined the Incident Management Team as logistics support for Marlborough Kaikoura and has been involved with many campaign fires, earthquake response and the occasional exercise held in Marlborough.  She also held leadership and management positions with Guiding New Zealand. 

Sonia brings to Marlborough Kaikoura Rural Fire District a wealth of knowledge for fire permitting, having been involved with the Council’s system as a Customer Services Officer.

Her interests are enjoying the outdoors; camping and fishing in the Marlborough Sounds, along with walking her dog and going to the gym.

Graham Lamond Deputy Principal Rural Fire Officer

Graham Lamond
Graham joined the Marlborough Kaikoura Rural Fire District as a Rural Fire Officer on 10 December 2013.  

His authority under this appointment was to:

  1. Deputise for the Principal Rural Fire Officer;
  2. Take command of a rural fire incident;
  3. Issue Fire Permits

In early 2016 Graham left the Kaikoura District and his position as an RFO was terminated.

He elected to return to Kaikoura in 2017 and on 10 March 2017 he was appointed to the role of Deputy Principal Rural Fire Officer for the Kaikoura District.

Rob Horsenail Deputy Principal Rural Fire Officer

Rob Horsenail

Rob joined the Marlborough Kaikoura Rural Fire District as a Deputy Principal Rural Fire Officer on 11 December 2017.  Prior to this appointment he was employed by Downers in Blenheim and was a member of the Blenheim Voluntary Rural Fire Force.

He and his family moved to Blenheim from the United Kingdom where he was employed by the London Fire Brigade as an urban firefighter.

Rob is married to Jodi and has two children.  He is very much a family man.

In August and September he went on deployment to Canada to assist with the fire fighting of the wildfires which were recorded as the worst this century.  He felt this opportunity was well worth the experience and said the fires he witnessed were nothing like he has every seen before.  They were well received and appreciated by the Canadian citizens and he said that often they were approached by the residents who wanted to shake their hands and say thank you for saving their homes, animals and land.