In 1854, the first New Zealand volunteer fire brigade was formed in Auckland. With nothing but buckets to start with, the brigade soon upgraded to manual pumps after these were provided by the Auckland City Council and insurance companies.
In Wellington, the Town Protection Act was passed by the 'Wellington Provincial Council'. This act required each householder to keep two buckets of water and supply them when fire broke out. A manual fire engine was bought by the council and put at the Thorndon Police Station – under the control of the police.