August 2016

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I’m thrilled to be writing about a new initiative to give greater recognition to those who have provided long service to CDEM. While we currently issue 10 year long service awards, we are now expanding this to salute those who have performed active service to CDEM in New Zealand for 20 and 30 years. The outstanding level of personal dedication throughout CDEM is one of our greatest strengths, and warrants our acknowledgement, gratitude and celebration. Revised guidance on our awards and nominations process is available on our website.

We encourage you to start putting in your nominations for those who have already reached or will soon reach these milestones. 

Takatū, the updated CDEM learning management system, went live with a soft launch on 1 July. It supports collaboration at local, regional and national levels and should also provide us with a better national picture of training. You can read more about the roll-out in the training and resources section below.

The new Public Education Programme was also launched last month. Focusing on the personal and household impacts of emergencies, rather than hazards, the programme has been reframed to make preparedness real, relevant and easy. I’ve received some really positive feedback about the collaborative way the new approach was developed and how fresh the new programme looks.

Planning for Exercise Tangaroa is in full swing here as we look ahead to the start of the exercise on 31 August. Tsunami pose a real risk in New Zealand. Exercise Tangaroa will test our arrangements for preparing for, responding to, and recovering from a tsunami. I expect the exercise will identify areas of strength and opportunities for improvement in our national, regional and local response and recovery arrangements.

Sarah Stuart-Black, Director, Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management




Never Happens? Happens campaign launched

Last month, the Ministry launched our redeveloped public education programme. Bridget Cheesman, public education advisor, led the redevelopment working with the communications team, national public education reference group (NPERG), academics, focus groups and researchers, creative design and marketing agencies.

Compared with the previous campaign, which adopted a largely one size fits all approach, the new campaign is designed to be adaptable by CDEM Groups across a wide range of applications and channels.

The redeveloped strategy reframes preparedness to make it real, relevant and easy. We are also moving away from hazard-focused public education to focusing on six effects of emergencies – Can’t get home, Stuck at home, Have to evacuate, No power, No phone/wifi, No water –  to get people thinking about how their lives could be affected.

As part of the programme, we launched the “Never happens? Happens” campaign, which includes:

CDEM Groups will be integral to the success of this campaign. Guidelines and adaptable templates have been being developed to make it easy for groups to turn this programme into meaningful and relevant education material in their communities. The programme will also provide a small contestable fund to help Groups develop resources featuring people from their own communities – more on this in the near future.

The two-page strategy summary that underpins the new Public Education Programme, and the full strategy document are available on the MCDEM website.

Over the coming months, we’ll be adding resources for our most vulnerable groups (families on lower incomes, millennials, non-English speakers and new migrants). The first phase starts on 8 August, focusing on making preparedness easy, quick and low cost for everyday Kiwi families.

We’d love you to help spread the word, to get Kiwis talking about being prepared and taking small steps to get there.


Resilience Fund applications open soon

The 2017/2018 Resilience Fund will open for applications at the end of August 2016 and close on 1 October 2016. Successful applications will be notified by end of November 2016 for the projects to start 1 July 2017. Application forms and information are available on the MCDEM website.


Exercise Tangaroa – 31 August 2016

The first day of Exercise Tangaroa on 31 August 2016 is rapidly approaching and planning is stepping into high gear! We have been developing a number of templates for you to use as part of your exercise planning and these are available on our Exercise Tangaroa webpage. Remember, there is also guidance available on our webpage to help you with your planning for the welfare, lifelines, business continuity and recovery parts of the exercise. As other exercise documentation and material is developed it will be available on our webpage, so add it to your favourites and check back regularly!

With less than a month to go before the first day of the exercise, now is a good time to start encouraging your participants to ensure they are familiar with the procedures, arrangements and equipment that will be used in your Emergency Operations Centre/Emergency Coordination Centre/National Coordination Centre during the exercise.


Training and Resources

takatu: be ready

Takatū, the updated learning management system, had a soft launch on 1 July 2016. Hosted by MCDEM, takatū provides a learning portal for civil defence emergency management in New Zealand, shaped and developed through a collective effort with representatives from CDEM Groups.  The focus of the project now moves to deployment and roll-out to CDEM Groups who will be able to track, create, access and share training and other resources with each other and their stakeholders.

Takatū offers different levels of access and collaboration, depending on your role within emergency management. As you take part in training through CDEM Groups you’ll discover new parts of takatū!

Takatū also offers information on wider learning opportunities (conferences, podcasts, videos, tertiary study, etc.). If you know of learning and development opportunities that would be beneficial to the CDEM sector let us know at

To check out takatū head to courses and new information are added regularly.

Takatū is available in English and te reo Māori.

New ITF Coordination Centre courses

Two new ITF Coordination Centre courses are almost ready to be released! Final approval is planned to be given to the courses “Coordination Centre: Welfare Function” and “Civil Defence Centre” by mid-August following final checks and consultation.

The Welfare Function course was developed by a group of subject matter experts representing the sector. Whereas the Civil Defence Centre course used material from Canterbury, Bay of Plenty and Waikato CDEM Groups as the basis for the development.

Both courses have been developed to address the new Welfare Services in an Emergency Director's Guideline [DGL 11/15].

Consultation has already taken place throughout the course development with CDEM Groups, Welfare Coordination Groups, National Welfare Coordination Group, Welfare forums, Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management, Ministry of Social Development, Child, Youth and Family, Ministry for Primary Industries, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Ministry of Health and Police. A number of CDEM Groups and agencies also attended the pilot courses to help further refine the products, such as The Salvation Army, NZ Red Cross, Neighbourhood Support, farming and local communities. You can find full details of the process by logging into takatū.

If you would like to provide feedback on these courses, please do so before August 12th by logging into takatū.

Course materials and bookings will be available in takatū once signed-off.


CDEM Controllers’ Development Programme

The next CDEM Controllers’ Development Programme begins 12 September 2016, with the residential phase 13-18 November in Hamilton.

The Programme is a joint venture between MCDEM, Massey University, GNS and AUT.

If you are interested in this Programme, please speak to your manager before completing a nomination form. Nomination forms can be found online on the CDEM Controllers’ Development Programme page in takatū. Completed nomination forms should be uploaded to the same page. Nominations close end August.

Further details about the course can be found on takatū or email 


Registration open for 2016 Volcano Short Course, 12-13 October

How well will your organisation cope with a future volcanic crisis?

Registration is now open for the annual Volcano Short Course, this year held in Rotorua on 12-13 October 2016, with an optional field trip on 14 October in the Rotorua area. The course, organised by GNS Science, will provide a state-of-the-art assessment of volcanic hazards in New Zealand, and will help you better understand how your organisation can better prepare for, and mitigate against, a future volcanic crisis.

Volcanologists, communicators, social scientists, and emergency managers form part of the multi-disciplinary team that explores relationships between the physical and social aspects of natural hazards and their management.

The course is designed for those involved in all aspects of natural hazard management: planners, educators, engineers, local and central government policy makers, insurance managers, emergency managers and business, utility and property owners.

For more information visit or contact Daryl Barton (


Stakeholder Stories

Training Tomorrows Rescuers

For the past 41 years Hutt Valley students have been testing their knowledge and skills in areas such as stretcher loading and lashing, knot tying, reconnaissance and problem solving as part of the Secondary Schools Rescue Training programme. Along with developing practical rescue skills, the programme gives students the opportunity to build confidence and develop leadership skills.

This year, 10 schools from the Hutt Valley took part in the programme over three days, with all eligible students assessed for unit standard 20473 - Rescue casualties at ground level using Civil Defence general rescue techniques. Volunteers from NZRT18 – Hutt City Emergency Response Team and NZRT9 – Upper Hutt Community Rescue assisted in the delivery of the training programme, supporting Devereux-Blum Training and Development who also completed the assessments.

A high standard of participation was shown by students and for the first time we had a three-way tie for first place. Congratulations to St Patricks College (Silverstream), Raphael House Rudolf Steiner School and Chilton Saint James School.

Students from Raphael House Rudolf Steiner School retrieve a ‘patient’.


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