The new Fire Service East Otago area manager Laurence Voight at the Dunedin Central Fire Station yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
It is a homecoming of sorts for the new Fire Service East
Otago area manager.
"It has been a 35-year round trip," Laurence Voight (53) said
Born and raised in Dunedin, he left the city as an
18-year-old, later swapping the banking industry for the Fire
That 25-year career has taken him from Lower Hutt, where he
recently worked in an acting assistant area role and
completed an executive officer programme, to Dunedin last
"It [East Otago] is a large area, has 105 career staff and
about 400 volunteers."
His priority before the end of the year was to visit each
station in East Otago, which stretches from Waikouaiti,
inland to Middlemarch and south to Papatowai, to talk to
staff and volunteers "to get the lay of the land".
"I aim to be here for a few years, so that should bring some
stability to the place," he said.
Mr Voight replaces Brian Davey, who had retired but returned
earlier this year in a "caretaker role" following the
departure of former area manager Brendan Nally, who took up a
management position in Lower Hutt.
Mr Nally is set to return to Dunedin to take over the acting
regional manager role from Stu Rooney, who is heading to a
senior position in Wellington.
East Otago assistant area commander Trevor Tilyard has also
confirmed his retirement.