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Foreword from the Director – Councils and communities “well prepared and able to manage the response effectively”

If you haven’t been laid low by the cough, cold or influenza that seems to be doing the rounds you are lucky.  In a similar manner, you are probably also lucky if your region and communities have escaped the impact of the recent string of bad weather.

But like many of the threats we face, there are things that can be done to reduce the risk and be ready, and to manage the response if the problem does hit.  It sounds so logical and simple to those of us involved in emergency management.  Why is it then that we struggle to make inroads in community readiness?

The forecasts we have available are generally timely and accurate for weather and ailments.  There are public awareness campaigns that inform people of the need to be ready and hints about what they can do to prepare and generally, there are supplies available.  And yet people still get caught out.

Action in the response to the impact of either problem is critical at the personal level, at the organisational level and in the community. And we have available mechanisms through which issues can be escalated to ensure the right support is available to those that need it.

I am not going to present at my A and E department at the first sign of a cold.  I am expected to apply some local remedies first. The same process has worked well during the recent storms and flooding.  Local initiatives have been applied first and the response escalated as required by the scale of impact and resources available and needed.

Why were there no declarations made, my equivalent of appearing at the A and E department? To me it is because councils assessed they had the resources in hand to cope with, and respond to the emergency and they did not need additional resources or authorities. There was no need to declare a state of emergency.

That suggests strongly that not only were the councils well prepared and able to manage the response effectively, but also that many of their communities were well prepared and able to cope with the adversity drawing on local resources.  That is the result expected and it is great to see it work in reality.

Nevertheless there is always going to be some variability in the way the emergency hits. Not everyone is treated equal.  I have sympathy for those that get hit by winter bugs and get ill.  I have much greater sympathy for those that suffer damage to property and lose their livelihoods in emergencies such as flooding.

We know there is always more that can be done to reduce the impact next time.  Being more resilient to perils like these helps us cope with the next round we might encounter. It is a highly valuable but never-ending process.  We might gain some immunity and protection this winter, but we will probably have to go through a similar process again next year to ensure we are ready and able to cope with the next contingency.

John Hamilton

Director CDEM

Auckland appoints Senior Training & Capability Advisor

Stephanie James

In June, Stephanie James joined the Auckland CDEM team as our Senior Training & Capability Advisor. Stephanie brings 20 years of learning and development experience to the role. She also brings a commitment to helping people achieve their greatest potential in the workplace.

For the past four years at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Stephanie successfully trained and coached senior managers in leadership capability modules. Beginning as an Advisor, Stephanie was promoted to Learning & Development Manager, proactively creating and implementing a range of tools that positively impacted teams.

Prior to this, Stephanie had twelve years in the Event Operations team at THE EDGE in Auckland City. As well as supervising events front of house, she built and implemented relevant training frameworks and inductions, largely focusing on event management, emergency requirements, health & safety, and customer service.

Steph has a passion for building teams, coaching and professional development.  She has a strong background in the training of trainers, including mentoring and coaching technical experts to cater for adult learning principles and preferred learning styles in their sessions.

Her academic background includes a Diploma in Primary Teaching NZ and a Bachelor of Arts, Majoring in Education. 
Stephanie is looking forward to working with a team so committed to their CDEM roles.

Auckland Welfare Coordination Group Foundation Training

The first foundation training designed specifically for Welfare Coordination Group (WCG) organisations was held on 18 June 2014.  The purpose of this training is to provide WCG agencies with an understanding of welfare response, how their organisation operates within the context of a Civil Defence Centre (CDC), and ensures that agency staff are able to prepare their teams for deployment.  This is a five hour course covering:

  • the civil defence and emergency management (CDEM) sector
  • Auckland’s hazards
  • basic Coordinated Incident Management System (CIMS) principles
  • personal preparedness, family plans and deployment considerations
  • the purpose of the welfare function and how welfare arrangements are structured in Auckland
  • welfare in an emergency, WCG agency roles and responsibilities in response
  • CDCs: what they look like, how they function and who is likely to be there.

The training was delivered with a focus on experiential learning with plenty of group work and scenario based knowledge review.

This first training was offered to Auckland WCG agencies most likely to be deployed to a CDC.  Attendees included representatives from Ministry of Social Development, The Order of St John, NZ Red Cross, Inland Revenue Department, The Salvation Army and Auckland Council Environmental Health.

Auckland CDEM received excellent feedback from attendees about both the content and the opportunity to meet other welfare stakeholder agency staff and work together. Training will be offered on an ongoing basis to all AWCG agencies.


Better preparedness from the Canterbury experience

Emergency Management Canterbury has won the IAEM Award for Public Education (Oceania, Division One) for its earthquake preparedness videos. With the help of the Resilience Fund, Canterbury CDEM have made six short videos in which community members talk about their quake experiences and give their advice on preparing for an emergency.

The videos include advice on ways to talk to children about what’s happening, looking after pets, the importance of cash, being prepared with sufficient petrol, water and food, and having a gas barbecue. There is also a strong theme of looking after friends and neighbours.

The videos have been uploaded to the Canterbury CDEM You tube channel and are designed to be used on social media like Facebook, websites, and in presentations. The videos are about using the experiences of Canterbury people as another avenue to get the message out. They have been developed to be used by anyone talking about preparedness to the community, so please feel free to use them!

Filming was done in the Greater Christchurch area, including New Brighton, Lyttelton, Rangiora, Kaiapoi and the Re:Start mall. You can find the videos on - http://www.youtube.com/user/CanterburyCDEM

Jessica Petersen, Emergency Management Canterbury


Hawke’s Bay wide Civil Defence Plan helps region to be more prepared

Cover of Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Plan

A new region-wide emergency management plan has been developed to help the Hawke’s Bay community be more prepared for a civil defence emergency.

The Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Plan has been developed over the last 18 months. It replaces the previous plan and takes a more region-wide approach to preparedness.

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Joint Committee Chairman Fenton Wilson says the plan covers the entire region from the Wairoa District to Central Hawke’s Bay and focuses on a more coordinated approach to planning for a civil defence emergency.

“The Group Plan has been primarily written to guide and inform those involved in civil defence planning in the region. However, it also gives the public a good view of how hazards and risks in the region will be managed,” says Mr Wilson.

“We encourage people to find out more about the main hazards in the region and what they and their communities can do to prepare.”

The plan was developed with the help of Hawke’s Bay’s five councils, emergency services, central government and non-government partners, such as Red Cross.

Mr Wilson says the new plan incorporates lessons learnt from recent disasters, such as the Canterbury earthquakes and a 2010 review of Hawke’s Bay’s civil defence capability.


Nelson’s new EOC

The new Nelson-Tasman Emergency Operations Centre was officially opened on Thursday 19 June 2014. 

This event was attended by Council staff, Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management and emergency services representatives. The new EOC is situated in Richmond and will enable a higher level of response capability.  Jointly funded by Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council, the EOC provides a purpose built centre for the emergency services and council staff to come together in the event of an emergency.

Built to IL4 (importance level 4) with independent water and power systems, the centre is capable of withstanding a significant earthquake and still function. 

When not in use as an emergency centre the building is home to five staff members and is available for a training venue.

Post-disaster building management guidance release

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment has launched two guides and accompanying FAQs for building professionals on assessing buildings following emergencies such as earthquakes or flooding disasters.

These guides were developed in response to the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission's recommendations around changes related to rapid building safety evaluations after a disaster. The guidance also allows for a more effective and efficient response in future events.

The key change is the shift away from the 'traffic light' system of red, yellow, and green placards to indicate the condition of a building. The colours that will instead be used are red, yellow, and white. Red means entry to the building is prohibited; yellow means restricted access; and white means light or no damage.

The Canterbury earthquakes showed that people assumed a green placard meant the building had no issues. In reality, it meant that on visual inspection the building could be used, but should have used further detailed evaluation. The new white placard will indicate that the building is poses low risk, but it does not necessary mean it is safe.

Other changes to New Zealand's emergency building management arrangements are the training of a core group of building experts and emergency managers to act as 'on-call' assessors, and amendments to the Building Act to strengthen its emergency provisions.

These new systems, manuals, and training mean New Zealand will be much better prepared to deal with building safety issues in the event of a future disaster.

Read the Post disaster building management guidance

Read the Frequently asked questions

Genesis Energy practises crisis response

Genesis Energy recently conducted two exercises to test the Company’s incident and crisis management response arrangements. 

The crisis management exercise “Ebola” required the crisis management structure and teams to deal with a computer malware infection, which is a recognised risk for the Company’s business operations.  The scenario caused widespread business disruption, with no area of the business left unaffected.  Primary impacts were:

  • loss of access to business systems and data for two working days
  • permanent loss of one to two days of business data
  • inability to answer retail customer enquiries
  • threat to trading position
  • significant legal risk
  • widespread negative publicity.

The Ebola Exercise provided the opportunity to test existing Crisis Management plans and enhancements made from previous crisis exercises, provide members with crisis management experience and generate additional improvement ideas.

Improvement opportunities identified from Ebola include training alternate people, providing media management training to senior leaders, performing a review of crisis “War Rooms” to ensure smooth operation and developing protocols to speed up the delivery of communications.

The second incident management exercise was based on an influenza pandemic and tested the capability of the Company’s Hamilton team.  Primary outcomes of the exercise were:

  • identification and prioritisation of critical tasks
  • critical systems and platforms identified
  • critical staff identified and possible scenario specific mitigations discussed
  • containment and minimisation solutions discussed and documented
  • critical stakeholders and suppliers identified.

Genesis Energy thanks Dan Twigg, System Operations Manager from Transpower, Trevor Ecclestone, Manager – Emergency Management, Waikato DHB, and Irving Young, Lifeline Utilities & Outreach Coordinator, Waikato Civil Defence for their assistance in facilitating and observing these exercises.


Wellington Hospital holds successful mass casualty incident exercise

At the end of May, Capital & Coast DHB ran an ‘Emergo’ mass casualty exercise where 60 casualties from a transport crash were processed through the hospital. Staff from various services throughout the hospital took part.

The Emergo Training System was developed at the University of Linkoping in Sweden. It is an interactive simulation system tool that uses whiteboards and magnetic symbols to represent casualties, current patients, staff and resources. A large bank of ‘casualties’ with various injures is available, along with protocols giving outcomes based on the treatment provided during the exercise. St John holds the NZ licence for Emergo. Real time management is used and trained senior Emergo instructors from DHBs and St John facilitate the exercise.

A ‘snapshot’ was taken of Wellington Hospital four weeks prior to exercise day and when staff arrived on the day they worked within their respective services with their areas populated as at the snapshot day.

The main purpose of the exercise was to test the Wellington Regional Hospital Mass Casualty Plan, along with individual service plans such as the emergency department.

It was pleasing to note the following comment from the exercise facilitator: “There were no identified adverse outcomes for patients with patient flow through the hospital coping with the influx of casualties. Those who took part were so positive and engaged; performing to the highest of standards. It is clearly evident that CCDHB is well prepared and would respond well to any mass casualty incident.”

Paul O'Flaherty, Coordinator - Emergency Management, Capital & Coast DHB, Paul.O'Flaherty@ccdhb.org.nz

Collaboratively building resilience opportunities

Resilient Organisations is a network of researchers and practitioners dedicated to generating evidence-based knowledge and practical guidance on how to make organisations and communities more resilient. 

If you are interested in building an organisation, or community, that can survive and thrive in an ever changing world of technological discontinuity, climate change, and natural disasters, this event is for you.

As part of our celebration of ten years of ongoing research, we are running a series of celebration events across the country to discuss, showcase and propagate resilience ideas and opportunities. 

Christchurch: 1-7pm, Tuesday 21 October 2014

Auckland: 1-7pm, Wednesday 29 October 2014

Wellington: 1-7pm, Tuesday 4 November 2014

Come along to hear the latest Resilient Organisations research and to get involved in some collaborative resilience opportunity building sessions – a chance for everyone to pose, and help unravel, resilience challenges that are facing organisations today.  

It’s free! So please come along! 

RSVP with your preferred location to charlotte.brown@cpit.ac.nz

More details will follow.

Erica Seville and John Vargo

Co-leaders Resilient Organisations Research Programme

Resourcing for the Canterbury reconstruction

Post-disaster recovery and reconstruction can be times of great demand for the construction sector. The construction sector assumes a major and critical role in rebuilding. There is a need for the construction sector to respond quickly, using or building on existing skills capacities and arrangements. Oftentimes, reconstruction following a major disaster creates problems for workforce planning putting pressure on short-term and long-term resource availability.

Resilient Organisations initiated the ‘Resourcing for the Canterbury rebuild’ research project (also known as The Resource Project) in September 2012 to identify and communicate construction industry resourcing issues that may be adversely impacting on the Canterbury Earthquake rebuild. This study was undertaken in parallel with an ongoing investigation of the Victorian post-bushfires recovery in Australia. 

As part of The Resource Project, case studies of 15 construction organisations involved in the Canterbury rebuild are conducted, on a regular basis, to monitor the changing business’ behaviour in response to employment demand and supply in Christchurch. As well as identifying resource challenges for construction employers, investigations were also focused on the good employment practice, business dynamics, and emerging issues that are likely to affect the needs of the construction sector in the near future.

The project is funded by the Building Association of New Zealand (BRANZ), the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), and the Earthquake Commission (EQC). Project website: www.recres.org.nz, or Resilient Organisations: www.resorgs.org.nz

For further information about this research, please contact:

Professor Suzanne Wilkinson, the University of Auckland, +64 9 923 8184, s.wilkinson@auckland.ac.nz

Dr. Alice Yan Chang-Richards, the University of Auckland, +64 9 923 8558, yan.chang@auckland.ac.nz

Temporary accommodation for inbound workers: Research learnings from Queensland post Cyclone Larry

The earthquake events in Canterbury have put pressures on housing capacity and affordability in the region. This pressure is likely to increase, particularly within the rental market, as inbound construction workers seek affordable accommodation.  Competing demand for temporary accommodation is likely to create a post-disaster demand surge and thus cause inflation region-wide.

At the request of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Resilient Organisations initiated a research trip to Queensland in November 2013 to learn from the Queensland Government’s response to workers’ accommodation needs in a large disaster event.  The study focused on temporary accommodation initiatives implemented for communities affected by Cyclone Larry.

Following the Cyclone Larry in March 2006, the cost and supply of private rental accommodation was identified by the Queensland Government as an issue impacting community recovery. A Public and Private Partnership was used to provide temporary accommodation for construction workers, which was integrated into and balanced with assistance for cyclone-displaced residents. The service enabled a pressure reduction in the housing market as workers were not competing with local residents for limited rental resources. Elements of Cyclone Larry approach included:

  • a model of one service across multiple organisations (Queensland Government, local councils and private accommodation operators) based on a collaborative approach;
  • utilisation of transportable accommodation units as well as public and private sites with existing infrastructure;
  • combining public assistance with private and community inputs through tenancy management of private accommodation operators; and
  • ensuring timeliness and coverage of accommodation assistance to suit varied needs.

The full Report can be downloaded at www.resorgs.org.nz

For further information about this research, please contact:

Professor Suzanne Wilkinson, the University of Auckland, +64 9 923 8184, s.wilkinson@auckland.ac.nz

Dr. Alice Yan Chang-Richards, the University of Auckland, +64 9 923 8558, yan.chang@auckland.ac.nz

Calling end-users of emergency management information systems

Joint Centre for Disaster Research (JCDR) at Massey University kindly invites you to participate in an exciting research exploring your views and perceptions on the use of emergency management information systems.

This is a novel research, which will inform us about the factors affecting the acceptance of information systems for emergency management. Findings of this study are expected to produce an end-users’ acceptance model and useful guidelines to help organisations to better deploy, manage and enhance overall effectiveness of their information systems supporting emergency management.

JCDR encourages all the emergency management information system end-users to participate in this valuable survey and circulate survey information to other colleagues who are engaged in managing emergencies.

Participation for the survey will take only 10-15 minutes.

Factors Affecting the Acceptance of Information Systems for Emergency Management Questionnaire Survey

 Please feel free to contact the lead researcher Dr. Raj Prasanna (R.Prasanna@massey.ac.nz) for more information, or click on the link above to access the Survey.

7th Australasian Hazards Management Conference

Updated programme online

The conference will provide a forum to discuss the integration of hazard information into effective risk management, including:

  • applying hazard information to best practice planning
  • developing effective warning systems
  • improved response and recovery from events
  • creating resilient communities through integrating science into practice.

Our target audience is: Emergency managers, planners, risk assessors, asset and utility managers, natural hazards researchers and scientists.

Te Papa, Wellington, New Zealand

23-24 September 2014

(Optional Workshops 22, 25 & 26 September 2014)

Bay of Plenty celebrating volunteers

The July issue of Bay of Plenty CDEM Group’s newsletter, Status Green, celebrates Volunteer Week and the wonderful things volunteers have doing in the Bay of Plenty.

Read the July issue of Status Green

Emergency management training for secondary school students

Students from the Hutt Valley participated in a week-long training programme in safety awareness, risk management and emergency response during their school holidays.

“The programme is an opportunity for students to achieve a range of credits in risk awareness and emergency response at levels 1 to 3 on the NZ Qualifications Framework.   Training provides students with an opportunity to develop skills which will stand them in good stead wherever they are,” said Bill Robertson, Chief Executive of EMQUAL (the emergency management industry training organisation). 

“This is a future-focussed solution for the emergency response sector. Volunteers make up over eighty per-cent of the fire and rescue workforce; it makes sense to work with the next generation to develop an effective training pathway” said George Verry, Chief Executive of the United Fire Brigades Association. 

The programme also aims to contribute toward injury prevention and a reduction in preventable accidents involving young people by providing them with the skills and knowledge they need to make safe decisions.   Programme participants will be better prepared to prevent accidents and respond when they happen.

This programme is the initiative of EMQUAL and the UFBA working with (FETS) Fire and Emergency Training Solutions which has extensive experience in delivering emergency management training to a wide range of industry organisations including the NZ Fire Service. 

Participants expressed significant benefits:-

  • 37% increase in confidence in taking the lead in an unfamiliar situation.
  • 34% more confident about using a fire extinguisher and other basic emergency equipment
  • 27% increased sense of contributing something of value to society
  • 32% more confident they have the skills and knowledge to help others in an emergency situation.

For more information, contact: Judith Stanley (UFBA) 027 432 5920 or Deanna Roa (EMQUAL) 021 739 202

Public consultation on Revised National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan closes 25 JULY 2014

The Minister of Civil Defence publicly released the revised National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan (revised Plan) for public consultation on the 23 May 2014.

The National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan sets out the hazards and risks to be managed at the national level and the civil defence emergency management necessary to manage those hazards and risks. It also sets out the roles and responsibilities of central government, Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups and other agencies such as lifeline utilities, emergency services and non-government organisations.

The current Plan has been in force since 1 July 2006. The Minister must review the Plan every five years. The review commenced in 2010, and determined that, overall, the Plan was adequate, but a number of aspects could be improved.

The review was halted after the Christchurch earthquake to enable government to focus on the response to the earthquake and for reviews of the response to be carried out. The revised Plan has been amended to incorporate all relevant recommendations from these reviews, as well as advancements in national civil defence emergency management planning arrangements.

Copies of the revised Plan

The revised Plan, a summary of amendments, and a feedback form are available online at


Submissions close at 5pm on Friday 25 July 2014.

Any queries can be directed to NationalCDEM.Plan@dpmc.govt.nz

CDEM Logistics Director’s Guideline out for external consultation

The CDEM Logistics Director’s Guideline is now out for external consultation, and has been sent to CDEM Group offices.

The purpose of the Logistics guideline is to build on the description of logistics in the new CIMS book, and to do it within the context of CDEM. It gives guidance to staff who are placed in a logistics role during a response or who might have to develop logistics plans and procedures during the readiness phase.  It also provides advice on guidance on the procurement and management of resources, as well as the sub-functions within Logistics (i.e. Supply, Finance, Administration, Information Communications Technology, Catering, Transport, Facilities and Personnel).

Feedback on this draft is required by Friday 17 October 2014.

Queries or requests for copies of the draft can be directed to Tane Woodley at MCDEM, Tane.Woodley@dpmc.govt.nz, (04) 817-8566 or (027) 277-6859.

Get Ready Week 2014 – Resources

Eight weeks to go to Get Ready Week!

Get Ready Week this year is from 21- 27 September with the theme “What would you do?”

The aim is to encourage people to plan for a range of scenarios where their normal routines are disrupted by a major disaster event. The generic theme enables CDEM Groups to customise local campaigns or activities on their preferred area of focus.

Examples of possible scenarios include:

  • Transport disrupted after a major earthquake or flooding event – “What would you do if you can’t get home tonight?”
  • Water/power/phones down – “What would you do without water/power/phones for the next three days?”
  • Event specific – “What would you do if there was an earthquake/tsunami/volcanic eruption/flood - when you are at work /at home/travelling/on holiday?”

A number of resources are now available on the Get Ready Week section of the website. These include:

  • Email signatures that you can use to build up to your week’s campaign
  • Posters
  • Web banners
  • Colouring stuff for kids

We encourage councils to utilise the resources for your local or regional campaigns. If you need assistance to customise the resources for your specific campaigns please email emergency.management@dpmc.govt.nz

Get Ready Week Advertising

The national Get Ready advertising campaign will run on radio and television during the week. Details of channels, programmes and times that the ads will run will be offered on the website in early September.

GRGT Resources - Call for orders

We're doing a coordinated print run for the Get Ready brochures and Household Emergency Plan/Checklist for 2014. If you need additional supplies especially for Get Ready Week in September please get your orders in.

You will be invoiced directly by the supplier - Bluestar, Private Bag 39996, Wellington. Tel: 04 576 5198.

Get Ready Get Thru brochure

Cost: 35 - 55 cents per copy depending on total print run (excl freight and GST)

Order: by 8 August 2014 at the latest

Delivery: by  end August 2014  Minimum order: 500 copies (additional in multiples of 500).

Household Emergency Plan/Checklist

Cost: 7 - 12 cents per copy depending on total print run (excl freight and GST)

Order: by 8 August 2014 at the latest

Delivery: By end  August 2014

Minimum order: 1000 copies, (additional in multiples of 1000)

How to order

Please submit your orders by filling in the information requested in the  prescribed order form and emailing the order form no later than 8 August 2014 to emergency.management@dpmc.govt.nz.

Download the order form