New Zealand / United States of America

Name of the Agreement and date

  • Wildfire Arrangement between the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture of the United States of America and the National Rural Fire Authority of New Zealand
  • 2001


  • United States of America
  • New Zealand


  • To provide a framework within which one Participant may request and receive Wildfire Suppression Resources from the other Participant and to encourage cooperation on other fire management activities. (Article I.1)


  1. "Receiving Participant" means the Participant receiving Wildfire Suppression Resources
  2. "Sending Participant" means the Participant furnishing Wildfire Suppression Resources
  3. "Wildfire" means any forest, range or bush fire
  4. "Wildfire Suppression Resources" means personnel, supplies, equipment, and other resources required for presuppression and suppression activities for wildfire. (Article II)

Information and Coordination

  • Established in the Annual Operating Plans.

Personnel and Equipment

  • Each Participant should undertake all reasonable steps and use its best efforts, within and subject to applicable laws and regulations of both countries, to facilitate the admission of all supplies, equipment, aircraft, vehicles, specialized machinery, or other equipment whether owned or contracted, that are used or intended for use in wildfire suppression or transport of wildfire suppression equipment or personnel pursuant to this Arrangement without entry fees and without payment of any duties or taxes imposed by reason of importation. (Article VI.2)
  • 1. Any service performed in furtherance of this Arrangement by an employee of a Participant should constitute service performed on behalf of that Participant.
    2. The performance of a service under this Arrangement by any employee, contractor, subcontractor or agent of one Participant should in no case render such person an employee, contractor, subcontractor or agent of the other Participant. (Article VIII)


  • Except for the costs set forth in Part V of this Arrangement, the Sending Participant should be reimbursed by the Receiving Participant for the costs incurred by the Sending Participant in furnishing Wildfire Suppression Resources for, or on behalf of the Receiving Participant. The costs may include the cost of premiums to purchase liability insurance and death personal injury insurance for the Sending Participant and its employees, servants and agents, as more fully described in the Annual Operating Plan provided for in Part VII of this Arrangement. The specific costs and procedures for reimbursement should be set forth in the Annual Operating Plan, which should be a binding contract. (Article IV)

Liabilities, Claims and Compensations

  1. In the Annual Operating Plan, the Receiving and Sending Participant should include provisions by which each Participant and each component of that Participant intends to waive its claims against the other Participant and each component of that Participant for compensation for loss, damage, personal injury, or death occurring as a consequence of the performance of activities undertaken pursuant to the Annual Operating Plan.
  2. Each Participants should, by contract or otherwise, extend the cross-waiver of liability contemplated in paragraph 1 to any contractors or subcontractors or agents or any state, regional, local, private or tribal/aboriginal fire organizations it may designate or assign to perform activities under this Arrangement or the Annual Operating Plan
  3. The Participants understand that the cross-waiver of liability contemplated in paragraph 1 above should not apply to claims between a Participant and its agencies, employees, contractors, subcontractors or agents. (Article V)

Limited territorial application

  • N/A

Border crossing

  • The Participants intend to work together, within the applicable laws and regulations of both countries, and to otherwise facilitate entry to and exit from each Participant's respective territory of all personnel engaged in wildfire suppression pursuant to this Arrangement. (Article VI.1)

Operating plans / Guidelines

  1. Should be concluded and executed between the Participants as a binding contract.
  2. The Annual Operating Plan should:
    a) identify designated points of contact responsible for fire suppression;
    b) set forth specific criteria and procedures for approving requests for Wildfire Suppression Resources;
    c) establish procedures for efficient and timely communication of relevant information between designated points of contact;
    d) identify the necessary procedures and legal documentation, which are to be completed, with agencies of the government to allow entry into each country of Wildfire Suppression Resources;
    e) specify the conditions, costs and procedures for the reimbursement, as deemed appropriate, of the Sending Participant for the furnishing of Wildfire Suppression Resource;
    f) include terms consistent with Part V, a cross-waiver for compensation for loss, damage, personal injury or death occurring in consequence of the performance of this Arrangement and the Annual Operating Plan;
    g) establish equivalent standards for qualifications, including physical fitness, training and experience;
    h) provide for recall rights of the Sending Participant.
  3. The Participant should use their best endeavors to complete a review of the Annual Operating Plan by 15 May each year. Until the review is completed, the last Annual Operating Plan should continue to apply. (Article VII)

Interpretation and Settlement of disputes

  • Should be resolved by the Participants by means of discussions and consultations. (Article XI)

Entry into force, duration, termination and withdrawal

  • Activities under this Arrangement commence upon signature and continue until 15 May 2010 unless terminated under (3). After that date this Arrangement continues from year to year until terminated. (Article XII.1)
  • This Arrangement may be terminated by any Participant at any time by providing reasonable, written notice to the other Participant. (Article XII.3)
  • The termination of this Arrangement should not affect the implementation of any Wildfire suppression initiated under this Arrangement prior to such termination. (Article XII.4)


  • This Arrangement may only be modified by mutual written consent of the Participants. (Article XII.2)

Other provisions

  • This Arrangement is not intended to create legally enforceable obligations between the Participants (Article I.2)
  • This Arrangement does not constitute a treaty between the sovereign states of the United States of America and of New Zealand. (Article I.3)
  • This Arrangement constitutes a reaffirmation of the importance of engaging in cooperative fire management activities. This Arrangement is intended to encourage and strengthen other cooperative fire management activities, through sharing among the Participants, fire management skills, and innovations. The objective of these activities is to improve the fire fighting assistance to one another when necessary. Each Participant should bear all of its costs and expenses of participating in these cooperative activities, unless otherwise mutually arranged. (Article IX)

last updated:  Friday, June 28, 2002