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Ceremony held to commemorate fallen Muriwai firefighters

Fire and Emergency New Zealand today commemorated the Muriwai Volunteer Firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty in February 2023.

Craig Stevens and Dave van Zwanenberg died following a landslide that occurred on February 13 as they were responding to help their community during ex-tropical Cyclone Gabrielle.

This morning, the whānau and friends of Craig and Dave, the Muriwai Brigade, other emergency responders and the Muriwai community came together on the one-year anniversary of the event to remember Craig and Dave, while also unveiling a memorial to the two men.

Across from the Muriwai Volunteer Fire Station, the memorial hosts a plaque and two handmade seats which sit facing what each firefighter held dear. Dave’s seat faces the ocean for his love of surfing and Craig’s seat looks over the BMX bike track he helped construct.

Fire and Emergency Chief Executive Kerry Gregory says the memorial is a beautiful space that will “serve as a haven for reflection”.

“The memory of Craig and Dave lives on with their loved ones and their brigade and with this memorial they have a permanent place within the community they served,” he says.

“This is a tangible place to remember our brave fallen firefighters, and the dedicated brigades, rescuers, and resilient Muriwai community who all came together in response to Cyclone Gabrielle.”

In addition to today’s commemoration at Muriwai, Fire and Emergency stations across the motu have flown their flags at half-mast today and taken a moment of reflection for their fellow firefighters.


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