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January 2015

Foreword from the Director

Sarah Stuart-Black

On 9 December 2014, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Chief Executive Andrew Kibblewhite announced the appointment of Sarah Stuart-Black as the new Director of the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management.

Sarah has been with MCDEM since 2003, and had been the Acting Director since John Hamilton’s retirement on 31 October 2014.

Sarah has a Bachelor of Science in Development and Health in Disaster Management with Honours and a Masters by Research in Disaster Management, and is originally a registered comprehensive nurse by training.


Happy New Year! I trust you had a relaxing break with family and friends and are coming back to work refreshed for what is shaping up as a busy year ahead.

Firstly, can I say how delighted and humbled I am to have been appointed to the role of Director and  am excited about both the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

I have a busy schedule over the coming months, meeting with CDEM Groups, government agencies, emergency services, lifeline utilities and other key stakeholders to listen to your views on what you see as your key challenges and issues, as well as your priorities and the opportunities you see ahead.

Here at the Ministry, the team continues to progress a busy work programme over the next few months, including:

  • Completing the Christchurch response Corrective Action Plan initiatives
  • Supporting the revised National CDEM Plan through the government approval process
  • Progressing the review of the legislative framework for recovery
  • Progressing the business case for a public alerting system
  • Continuing the capability assessment of CDEM Groups
  • Continuing  the inaugural Controllers’ Development Programme
  • Exploring synergies and opportunities for closer integration of CDEM/MCDEM in the national security system
  • Progressing the  a partnership arrangement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

A significant piece of work this year will be New Zealand ShakeOut – the national earthquake preparedness campaign which will culminate in a nationwide Drop, Cover, Hold drill on 15 October 2015. We are being ambitious in aiming to have 1.5 million New Zealanders participate.

This is an excellent opportunity for MCDEM, CDEM Groups and partner organisations to work together collaboratively to promote the action to take in an earthquake, as well as general emergency preparedness. We are currently refreshing our approach to public education to ensure we can explore new ways to engage with New Zealanders on taking action to be prepared for emergencies.

I’ve encouraged the ShakeOut team to think innovatively about how we can do that in a contemporary and creative way. Stay tuned for more in the coming months.

I look forward to seeing you over the coming months.

Sarah Stuart-Black

Ten new communities get ‘Youth in Emergency Services’ programme

In December, Youth Minister (and Minister of Civil Defence), Hon Nikki Kaye, announced $100,000 in funding to expand the ‘Youth in Emergency Services’ programme to 10 new communities around New Zealand.

This will mean up to 16 young people in each of the following communities can be part of the programme in 2015: Hurunui, Taupō, Kawakawa/Moerewa, Central Otago, Taranaki, Upper Hutt, Kapiti, Murupara, Maketu and Katikati.

Youth in Emergency Services is a national programme run collaboratively with the Ministry of Youth Development and Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management. The programme is designed to strengthen and encourage young people’s connection to their community by encouraging them to engage with a range of emergency services.

“This is an exciting programme that opens the door for young people to volunteer or follow a career path in emergency services, such as fire, ambulance and search and rescue,” said Minister Kaye.

“From chatting to communities where the programme has already run, I know what a boost it can be for areas that struggle to find volunteers.

“At the same time, the programme engages young people, helps them learn valuable skills and enables them to serve their community in a meaningful way.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to grow their confidence and capabilities, and I’m thrilled that 160 more budding emergency professionals can seize this opportunity next year.”

The programme runs during evenings and weekends over four to six weeks, usually beginning in late summer.

Everyone taking part has the opportunity to rotate around the different emergency services.

The final weekend involves a coordinated exercise involving all of the emergency services, so participants can put all the skills and knowledge they have learned to the test in a real-life scenario.

More information is available at www.myd.govt.nz/young-people/youth-in-emergency-services.html

Forty-eight years’ involvement in CDEM celebrated

In December 2014, Auckland Civil Defence Emergency Management celebrated the career of Julian Dukes, Emergency Communications Advisor.  Julian retired from CDEM after 48 years involvement, firstly as a volunteer and then an employee.

Julian created Auckland’s first CDEM local VHF network in 1967; so it was very fitting that Julian’s last major assignment was to rebuild the ACDEM VHF repeater network.

Over the years, Julian also contributed to operator training and general exercise planning. You would be hard pressed to find someone with the experience and knowledge across technical, operational and commercial aspects of radio communications that Julian has. Fortunately Julian’s contribution will continue through volunteering; he remains connected as the Auckland Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Group Technical Advisor to Auckland CDEM.

Julian is pictured at the right above with wife June, and extended family Rachael, Sophie and Xavier.

Article contributed by Janice Miller
Manager Logistics, Civil Defence & Emergency Management, Auckland Council

New Report examines how Canterbury organisations are coping after the earthquakes

Erica Seville and Joanne R. Stevenson

Building resilience into economic systems is critical to the stability and prosperity of modern nations.

Resilient Organisations (ResOrgs) recently released a report on organisational recovery following the Canterbury earthquakes. Disruption and Resilience: How Organisations coped with the Canterbury Earthquakes is available for free download from:

This report is part of ongoing work by ResOrgs, exploring the way organisations influence economic trends and patterns following infrastructure disruptions. The research is part of a larger project called the Economics of Resilient Infrastructure, which involves a team of researchers from across New Zealand, including GNS and Market Economics. The Economics of Resilient Infrastructure project is developing a new suite of tools referred to as MERIT, which will provide a better understanding of the economic implications of infrastructure failures and enable decision makers to explore the dynamics of a resilient recovery.

This latest report, released as part of the Economics of Resilient Infrastructure project, presents findings from a 2013 survey of 541 organisations across Canterbury.  The report examines responses, mitigation efforts, and adaptation behaviours of organisations affected by the 2010/2011 earthquake, and how they are progressing toward recovery.  Among other results, ResOrgs researchers were excited to find that the study provides new support of their core objective - to improve the resilience of organisations.  In the study, organisations with more resilient leadership and culture, strong networks, and greater ‘change readiness’ were better prepared, could function longer with disrupted services, and were significantly more likely to be able to maintain or improve productivity following the earthquakes.

Avon Heathcote Estuary and South New Brighton from the Christchurch Port Hills

Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild team sign on city building site.

Red Fix Espresso Bar in the Christchurch CBD.

Construction in progress around the Christchurch CBD (Photo credits: Graham Tobin, 2013)

Christchurch CDEM at A&P Show

Stan gets another hug from a passer-by at the Canterbury A&P Show. (Photo: Justin Lewis)

For the second consecutive year, the Christchurch Civil Defence Emergency Management team attended the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral (A&P) Show this November; a show which attracts up to 100,000 visitors over three days.

The A&P Show is a great way to connect with our local community and display some of our response equipment. During the three days the team promoted our local hazards, tsunami sirens, volunteering, community resilience, and What’s the Plan Stan?

This year saw a return of the ever popular Shaky House and hundreds of kids, both young and old, were keen to demonstrate to the correct way to ‘Drop, Cover and Hold’ or how to be ‘Turtle-Safe’ during an earthquake.  Children were able to watch the Turtle Safe video first before practising in the Shaky House. Stan was also on hand to help demonstrate the correct actions to take.

Despite the thousands of earthquakes and aftershocks that Christchurch has experienced over the past four years, people were queuing to try the Shaky House. It was a great education opportunity for those new to Christchurch and visitors who may not have experienced an earthquake before.

A big thank you to our welfare volunteers and Response Teams volunteers who once again gave up their valuable time to assist at the A&P Show.

Article contributed by David Collins
Christchurch City Council

Hoisting one of the many willing ‘victims’ up the scaffolding tower at the Canterbury A&P Show (Photo: Justin Lewis)

Christchurch Command Unit and Rescue equipment on display at the A&P Show. (Photo: Justin Lewis)

Stan and the Eukanuba team showing how it should be done in the sheep trials. (Photo: Justin Lewis)

Stan demonstrating Turtle Safe in the Shaky House. (Photo: David Collins)

Get Thru message promoted at Te Aroha A&P Show

Photo: Waikato Group Duty Officer Sharon Cousins-O’Donnell, right, with Olivia Robinson, pedigree dairy farmer from Waihou (and Executive Assistant at Waikato Regional Council) who is showing off one of her prize Ayreshire cows.

Thames Valley Emergency Operating Area (TVEOA) staff attended the Te Aroha Agricultural and Pastoral (A&P) Show before Christmas on behalf of Matamata-Piako District Council.

Material handed out included 150 Get Ready Get Thru bags with local hazard and personal preparedness information; a focus on continuity planning for farmers along with rural burning guidance and the need for associated insurance.

TVEOA also sponsored several torches which were handed out randomly and helped raise awareness of items to be put together at home to enhance resilience.

A&P competitors and Te Aroha locals alike were appreciative of the handouts and took the opportunity to speak with local CDEM Manager Gary Talbot.

Waikato Group Emergency Management Office staff supported the event through the presence of the on call Group Duty Officer and vehicle.  The rostered Group Duty Officer, Sharon Cousins-O’Donnell, enjoyed the opportunity to visit an A&P showground having spent many childhood weekends at one in either Southland or Otago over 30 years ago!

Article contributed by Sharon Cousins-O’Donnell
Waikato CDEM Group Training & Exercise Coordinator

Hastings retirement village tests emergency planning

Photo: Summerset in the Orchard retirement village warden Sheila Breckell provides CDEM advice and hazard information to a village resident.

Residents and management of the Summerset in the Orchard Retirement Village in Hastings have put their emergency planning to the test.

Hastings District Council Emergency Management staff visited the village before Christmas to coordinate a mock earthquake exercise. The village provides independent living options, with 151 private dwellings and well over 200 residents.

Council Team Leader Emergency Management Trevor Mitchell said that the village was located in a lower hazard area of Hastings with earthquake being the greatest risk.

“The exercise was designed to test the village’s emergency procedures and educate the residents on preparing for a disaster,” Mr Mitchell said.

“Emergency Management staff gave a presentation to wardens and staff covering the top 10 hazards for Hawkes Bay and how to mitigate the impact of these on the village.

“It is great to see the management and residents of Summerset in the Orchard being proactive in their preparation for the hazards that may affect them. Having a plan and being prepared is an essential step in building the resilience of our communities,” he said.

Summerset Village manager Allan den Boer said that the village was divided into sectors, with a warden appointed for each section.

“Prior to the exercise, the wardens visited each home and provided information on local hazards, what to do in an emergency, and how to get ready to get through,” said Mr den Boer.

“This exercise provided some very useful information about how we can plan for an emergency. A backup water supply has been installed and a small generator will provide lighting to help get through an emergency. The exercise highlighted the fact that it may be some time before help would be available during an emergency, even though the village is located in the Hastings urban area,” he said.

Article contributed by Trevor Mitchell
Hastings District Council Team Leader Emergency Management & Principal Rural Fire Officer

NPDC taking steps to recruit more CDEM volunteers

Photo: Taranaki CDEM Group Senior Emergency Management Officer Shane Briggs rolls out the Integrated Training Framework to New Plymouth District Council staff.

In December 2014 the first of a series of CDEM workshops was held for New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) staff.

CDEM Senior Emergency Management Officer Shane Briggs talked about the main hazards within Taranaki, the structure, role and responsibilities of CDEM and NPDC during a disaster, and the workings of the Taranaki Emergency Management Office.

More than 75 staff attended and several have expressed interest in volunteering so they are able to help during an emergency.

NPDC Chief Executive Barbara McKerrow told those attending that “our region is exposed to a number of natural disasters and NPDC is committed to building a resilient organisation and community.”

Did you know?:

  • Taranaki is ranked in the top three regions in New Zealand most exposed to tornadoes.
  • Mt Taranaki is rated ‘highly likely’ to experience some form of volcanic activity within the next 50 years.
  • Last year, Taranaki experienced 236 earthquakes – on average, one earthquake every second day.

Manager Infrastructure Support, Leon Wee, manages the Council’s CDEM portfolio, and said that NPDC has been reviewing and improving its emergency management processes in recent years. “We’ve tested them through emergency simulations and applied what we learned to improve them,” he said.

“It’s vital that CDEM partners work alongside each other seamlessly when our community is under stress from a disaster so that the response is coordinated and effective. This rollout of the CDEM National Integrated Training Framework will enhance our integrated approach.”

Article contributed by Leon Wee
Manager Infrastructure Support, New Plymouth District Council

New Zealand ShakeOut planning underway

New Zealand ShakeOut planning, steering and governance groups met in December to kick off planning and oversight of ShakeOut 2015. The groups confirmed:

• The date of the drill – 15 October 2015, which ties in with ShakeOut activities across the globe.
• The time the drill will take place – 0915, to ensure everyone is able to participate.

MCDEM’s Bridget Cheesman and Anita Walker have also had preliminary meetings with Mark Benthien and the Great Southern California ShakeOut team. They were instrumental in scoping the New Zealand ShakeOut 2012 campaign, establishing the New Zealand ShakeOut website, and providing assistance with website and database maintenance.

“We’re excited to have Mark and his team on board again,” Bridget says. “Their enthusiasm, experience and commitment were key factors in the success of New Zealand ShakeOut 2012, when 1.3 million Kiwis signed up to take part. They will play a big part in helping us reach our new goal of 1.5 million participants.”

The first official New Zealand ShakeOut newsletters to Civil Defence Groups and key stakeholders will start in February.

New Zealand ShakeOut 2015 will be launched to the public on 28 April. Past participants will be encouraged to sign up again and there will be a big push, nationally and regionally, to get first-timers to sign up too.

Get Ready Week 2015 will run from Sunday 11 October and will focus on supporting New Zealand ShakeOut.

For more information on New Zealand ShakeOut 2015, contact Bridget and Anita by emailing shakeout@dpmc.govt.nz


A number of changes were enacted during 2014 which impact on the emergency management sector and EMQUAL.

The Emergency Management Adult and Community Education (ACE) fund was approved in the 2014 Budget and a tender process held to determine an organisation to coordinate that fund. EMQUAL was unsuccessful in obtaining this role.

The Emergency Management ACE coordination role has gone to the Skills Organisation. They will be responsible for advising the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) on how funding for training should be administered to the emergency management and firefighting volunteers. If organisations with volunteers have questions on funding matters, these should be addressed to the Skills Organisation.

During November, EMQUAL submitted to TEC an Investment Plan for 2015. TEC’s offer of funding was, however, significantly reduced from that applied for and would not enable EMQUAL to continue to be financially viable with the on-going capability and capacity to deliver on the Investment Plan. EMQUAL is required to seek re-recognition as an Industry Training Organisation in June 2015.

These matters have a significant impact on EMQUAL. A Special General Meeting (SGM) of EMQUAL members was held on 10 December 2014. At this meeting the members voted to wind up EMQUAL effective 31 March 2015. This resolution must be confirmed at a second SGM as required by the Incorporated Societies Act 1908. The date for this second meeting will be advised in due course.

EMQUAL will work through the impact of these changes on trainees. EMQUAL will continue with the Targeted Review of Qualifications to submit new qualifications for listing.

Article contributed by Liz Hamilton
EMQUAL Development Manager

New Staff in Bay of Plenty

The Bay of Plenty CDEM Group would like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the newly appointed members of the Western Bay of Plenty Emergency Management Office - Scott McNaughton (pictured left) and Warren Meldrum (pictured right).

Scott has been contracted to the team for a while but was recently appointed to the permanent position of Emergency Management Specialist.

Warren has recently secured the role of Emergency Management Coordinator (Community Resilience) in Tauranga. Previously he held a similar role with the Hastings District Council and he brings with him considerable experience and success.

We welcome both Scott and Warren to the team and look forward to working with them in the future.

MCDEM Vacancy – Manager, Analysis and Planning

The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM) is part of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and provides leadership in New Zealand in reducing risk, being ready for, responding to and recovering from emergencies. MCDEM is the lead agency for a number of hazards listed in the National CDEM Plan and manages central government's response and recovery functions for these.

The role
Reporting to the Director of MCDEM, you will lead a team of highly motivated professionals responsible for developing, maintaining and supporting the implementation of frameworks and services to support CDEM in New Zealand. This position leads the functional responsibilities of the Analysis & Planning Unit including development of CDEM doctrine, hazard risk management, coordination of science and technical advice, national planning, recovery, resilience and international engagement. You will also provide emergency management leadership in an all of government context, working with partner agencies and multi-agency committees.
You will be required to walk the talk by being a MCDEM Duty Manager and fulfilling an operational or advisory role during response and recovery.

We need you to have:

• An ability to manoeuvre through complex organisational and political situations;
• Advanced knowledge of emergency management theory and practice and sound understanding of hazard risk management;
• Experience in managing and motivating a team of highly skilled staff effectively;
• Experience providing strategic direction;
• Excellent collaboration and relationship management skills; and
• The ability to operate effectively in high pressure environments.

Please note that you will be required to successfully obtain and maintain a Top Secret security clearance.

Applications close at 12 Noon on 5 February 2015.

For more information, including a job description, and to apply, please follow this link to the Central Agencies Jobs website - https://centralagenciesjobs.cass.govt.nz/mcdem/jobs

2016 Tier 4 (national) exercise – call for Planning & Steering Group members

In August and September 2016, the next Tier 4 (national) CDEM exercise will be held. The exercise will be based on a tsunami event and will involve all 16 CDEM Groups and partner agencies. Members of the National CDEM Exercise Governance Group have highlighted a number of response and recovery aspects they would like to test during the exercise, and therefore a phased approach will be taken:

Phases and dates of the 2016 Tier 4 (national) exercise

Phase 1: Wednesday 31 August 2016 (one day). This will focus on a response up to tsunami impact.
Phase 2: Wednesday 14 September 2016 (one day). This will focus on post tsunami impact.
Phase 3: Wednesday 28 September 2016 (one day). This will focus on post tsunami impact.

Planning Structure

Three groups will be established to manage the exercise: a Planning Group, a Steering Group, and Governance Group. These groups will comprise representatives from key agencies involved in the exercise.

We are looking for people who are keen to assist with the planning of this exercise. Nominations for Planning and Steering Group members will open on Monday 16 February 2015 and close on Friday 6 March 2015. The first round of meetings for these two groups will likely take place over 14-15 April (dates to be confirmed).

The Planning Structure for the 2016 Tier 4 (national) exercise
Planning Group (‘the doers’): This will be a small focused group (approximately six personnel), which will carry out the majority of the exercise design (planning) and conduct.
Steering Group (‘the good news spreaders’): This group will assist the Planning Group in advocating the exercise within and across agencies. This will be a slightly larger group than the Planning Group and they will have a say in the direction of the exercise.
Governance Group (‘the big tickers’): The already established CDEM National Exercise Programme Governance Group will act as a ‘board’ for the exercise to ensure it is well run and well governed so that its value can be maximised. As this group is already established, no nominations will be called for.

Nomination Process

1. CDEM Group Representatives – The appointment of CDEM Group representatives will follow the official process. The Convenor of the CDEM Managers Group will call for nominations from CDEM Group Emergency Management Managers or Coordinators via email on Monday 16 February 2015. A Terms of Reference will be provided at this time. Nominations will close on Friday 6 March.

2. Non-CDEM Group Representatives – A call for nominations will be made via email on Monday 16 February 2015 by Anita Walker. A Terms of Reference will be provided at this time. Information will also be made available on the MCDEM website and will be included in the February e-bulletin. Nominations will close on Friday 6 March 2015.

Please direct any questions about the exercise and nomination process to Anita Walker: anita.walker@dpmc.govt.nz or (04) 817 8587.

The 2015 Emergency Management Summit – 24 & 25 February | Wellington

The Civil Defence Minister, Hon Nikki Kaye, has been confirmed to once again open the New Zealand Emergency Management Summit. The Minister will share her views of the current state of emergency management in our country and where we are heading.

Emergency Management Summer Institute 2015

2-6 March 2015
Massey University Campus, Wellington

This course will help you better understand how your organisation can prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disaster. Emergency managers and social and physical scientists form part of the multi-disciplinary team that explores relationships between the physical and social aspects of natural hazards and their management. This course is designed for those involved in all aspects of emergency management: planners, educators, engineers, local and central government policy makers, insurance managers, researchers, emergency managers and utility and property owners. The programme has been developed to provide a theoretical and practical introduction to selected topics relating to emergency management. Each course will begin with an introduction and review of New Zealand and international research and practice. The topics will then be explored through a series of relevant case studies. The final session of each module will provide practical tools and guidance for turning the 'theory to practice'.

For a Summer Institute brochure and enrolment form visit the website or email d.barton@gns.cri.nz

From 2015 the Summer Institute will also be part of the Massey University paper 130.706 Emergency Management in Practice (30 credits). If you are enrolled in the Massey paper you will automatically be enrolled for the Summer Institute, at no additional cost. However, you do not need to be enrolled in the paper to attend the Summer Institute.  For more information, check out Massey University’s Emergency Management teaching programme:


PIM Workshop April 2015 – nominations are now open!

The next Public Information Management (PIM) workshop will be held on Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 April at the Holiday Inn, Auckland airport.

If you are interested in attending this workshop, please complete a nomination form (which can be downloaded from the Ministry’s website by following this link: www.civildefence.govt.nz/cdem-sector/capability-development/cdem-training-and-courses/ and submit it to your Group Manager. Nominations for the workshop will close on Friday 20 March, and selected participants will be notified shortly after.

If you have any queries, please contact Aimee Flanagan, the Ministry’s Capability Development Advisor on (04) 817 8583 or email MCDEMCapDev@dpmc.govt.nz

Exercise Writing and Management Course – change in date and nominations now open!

The next Exercise Writing and Management Course will be run in Auckland on Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 May 2015 (previously advertised as 21 and 22 April).

This two day course has been developed to build and maintain national consistency and quality standards for CDEM exercise development. The course is run annually and it supports the CDEM Exercises Director’s Guideline published in 2009.

With a Tier 4 (national) CDEM exercise planned for 2016, we want to continue to up-skill the CDEM sector in exercise writing and management. The course is limited to 16 participants. We encourage a multi-agency approach to exercising and this course is open to CDEM staff and our partner agencies.

The course is very practical with lots of interaction and activity. There is no cost to attend, although participants will need to fund their own travel and accommodation.

To nominate yourself for a place on the course, please complete a nomination form (which can be downloaded from the Ministry’s website by following this link: www.civildefence.govt.nz/cdem-sector/capability-development/cdem-training-and-courses/) with your details and send it to the appropriate person outlined on the form no later than Friday 10 April 2015.

Selection will be made based on where we see the greatest need, so make sure you outline your Group or agency needs in the nomination form. Preference will be given to those currently tasked with exercise development in their respective agencies.

If you have any queries about the course, please contact your MCDEM Regional Emergency Management Advisor in the first instance, or Anita Walker at MCDEM (anita.walker@dpmc.govt.nz, (04) 817 8587).

CDEM Operational Planning Director’s Guideline – External Consultation February-April 2015

The CDEM Operational Planning Director’s Guideline will be released for external consultation in mid-February, for a minimum of eight weeks. The latest draft is still being refined, so if this is completed earlier than expected, the draft may be released in early February, and the consultation period lengthened.

The guideline describes how CDEM agencies can develop Action Plans during a response, as well as how the Planning function in an Emergency Coordination Centre or Emergency Operations Centre prepares during the readiness phase. It also has significant content for the Intelligence function, which works very closely with Planning.  The audience for this guideline are:

• Controllers and Response Managers
• CDEM Planning Managers
• CDEM Intelligence Managers
• members of CDEM Planning teams
• other function managers in a Coordination Centre, and
• people developing planning training

The aim is to complete the guideline and publish it by 30 June 2015.

If you have any queries about the draft guidelines, please contact Tane Woodley at MCDEM (Tane.Woodley@dpmc.govt.nz).