Recorded histories of fire brigades in the early days of New Zealand are unfortunately very meagre, but from what information there is available it is known that several brigades were in existence 90 to 100 years ago. In Dunedin, for instance, a number of townspeople formed a volunteer fire brigade in 1861. Other early fire brigades were at Christchurch, Wellington, Greymouth, Hokitika, and Wanganui. These early brigades had little official standing and relied on contributions from the public, business houses, and the local authorities for the purchase of their equipment and uniforms. Equipment consisted largely of manually operated pumps, and later, when boroughs were reticulated with water, handdrawn hose reels.