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July 2015

Foreword from the Director

We have seen severe weather affect a number of CDEM Groups in June, including flooding in Otago, snow in Canterbury, flooding on the West Coast, and flooding and landslides in Taranaki and Manawatu-Wanganui.

I visited some of the affected areas in Whanganui and Taranaki with the Minister twice between 21-26 June to see the scale of the impacts first hand. I want to acknowledge the huge efforts of all of those involved in the response to these events over recent weeks. Of course this is just the start; the recovery for some communities will take time, and will need a long-term commitment from the organisations supporting them. In the Ministry we have put a recovery team in place and will be on hand to work with the affected Groups in the months ahead.

Whilst there will of course be lessons identified from these emergencies, we must not forget how far we have come in the 11 years since the storm in 2004. Although often referred to as the ‘Lower North Island Storm’ it actually affected CDEM Groups from the Waikato in the north, to Marlborough in south. It took weeks to obtain accurate figures on those affected and to assess household needs. Power outages and road closures affected thousands of people.

In contrast, we have seen the benefits of more resilient lifeline utilities, where power outages were in far smaller numbers and restored quickly; the use of social media, email and internet to better connect our communities with each other; the multi-agency coordination quickly established with flexible arrangements and alternative modes of service delivery.

Meanwhile, a busy work programme continues to progress at MCDEM.

The New Zealand Symposium on Disaster Risk Reduction in mid-June aimed to share current disaster risk reduction research and practice, and to undertake an initial assessment of how New Zealand aligns with the new Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. The Symposium was a great success with extremely positive feedback and a good degree of enthusiasm expressed for the day and the way ahead. The Symposium is only the first step: we intend to hold future events that will delve more deeply into areas of the Sendai Framework and to progress the national conversation on disaster risk and resilience.

Consultation began last week on the Draft Revised Guide to the National CDEM Plan 2015. Feedback is welcomed by 11 September 2015. Both the revised National CDEM Plan and Guide will come into effect at the same time on 1 December 2015. 

Sarah Stuart-Black
Director CDEM

Whanganui River experiences highest levels on record during June flood

The widespread flooding that hit the Manawatu-Wanganui Region in June was the largest event of its kind since February 2004. The Whanganui River experienced its highest river flows and levels on record.

Horizons’ Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) activated at 5am on Saturday 20 June, primarily to deal with its own flood management requirements, but quickly shifted its mode of operation to an Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC).  Staff were contacted, farmers on spillways notified and monitoring and coordination across the region began.

It was soon apparent this was going to be a significant rainfall event. Wanganui District Council was notified of the need to evacuate residents from the Anzac Parade/Kowhai Park area in the early evening, with Rangitikei District Council also needing to evacuate residents from various areas within their district.

A state of emergency was declared by both the Wanganui and Rangitikei districts at 4pm and 8pm respectively. While the Manawatu and Horowhenua districts did not declare emergencies, their EOCs were fully operational dealing with flooding and evacuations. Other EOCs across the region provided support to those most affected. The ECC was manned 24 hours until recovery activities formally kicked in.  Rangitikei lifted its declaration at 5.45pm on 21 June and Wanganui eventually lifted its declaration at 12pm on 2 July. 

Comparisons with the 2004 event are unavoidable. While the recent floods weren’t as widespread, in the worst affected areas they were near or on scale. Efforts continue to help with recovery efforts across the region. People and stock welfare is the top priority and a factsheet outlining the assistance available for those affected by the floods can be found online at www.horizons.govt.nz

Article submitted by Cara Hesselin
Communications Advisor, Horizons Regional Council

NIWA surveys flood damage

Rainfall in June was more than 200% above normal in Wanganui, Palmerston North, Central Otago and Dunedin leading to devastating flooding in many parts of the country (NIWA climate summary June 2015).

Riverside properties in Wanganui City and nearby surrounding towns such as Waitotara were particularly devastated. The Whanganui River overtopped stop-banks and rapidly flooded homes and business with silt-ridden contaminated flood water. According to local media reports, over 100 properties were evacuated in Wanganui with little warning. People had no choice but to shut the door and walk away as the waters rose. Fortunately no lives were lost in the event however, many flooded residents lost all their possessions and were displaced from their homes.

In June, NIWA’s RiskScape team travelled to Wanganui and Dunedin to carry out a post-event building damage surveys. Collecting data on flood-water depths in buildings and types of building damage sustained is vital for improving flood risk, impact and loss models. Information from these models can assist emergency management practitioners to prepare for and respond to future flood events.

In Wanganui, the field team measured flood water marks over 1m within many flooded homes and up to 2m above ground on flooded properties, proving that while the emergency evacuations were traumatic they are necessary in saving lives.

The RiskScape team would like to refine its impact and loss modelling software to provide more accurate flood-related risk information for emergency managers.

If you would like to be involved and want to know more about how RiskScape could assist your work please email Kate.Crowley@niwa.co.nz or to find out more about RiskScape visit our website https://riskscape.niwa.co.nz/

Photo: NIWA RiskScape team measuring high water marks on the outside of a flooded home in Waitotara. As the image demonstrates, water levels in this area reached to shoulder height or more at its highest point. Residents here told team members that they had a matter of minutes to leave. [Credit: NIWA]


State of emergency declared for Taranaki

pictured right)

The township of Waitotara (pictured right) was inundated and many rural households were left isolated after intense rainfall on 19 and 20 June resulted in widespread flooding and slips, and severe disruptions to roading and electricity networks throughout Taranaki.

The Taranaki Civil Defence Emergency Management Group declared a region-wide state of emergency at 9pm on Saturday 20 June. It remained in place for a week.

The heaviest rain was in inland South Taranaki but throughout the region, about 60 local roads were blocked by slips and washouts and, in at least one case, repairs are expected to take weeks.  Personnel making an aerial inspection of Waitotara Valley Road, for example, stopped counting the slips after seeing 35.

The State Highway network was also disrupted, with access to the region completely blocked at one point.

The damage to local roads hindered repairs to the electricity network, which in places was also severely damaged. The lines company Powerco said power poles and transformers were submerged under water and slips took out whole sections of lines.

Taranaki CDEM co-ordinated more than 80 relief flights by helicopters over the following week to deliver food and essential items to remote households that remained cut off and in some cases without electricity.

Group Controller David Lean said a Recovery Manager had been appointed and the focus now was on sustainable long-term support and assistance for those whose lives and businesses were disrupted by flooding and slips.

Article contributed by Peter Ledingham
Communications Officer, Taranaki Regional Council

Waitotara Valley

The Waitotara Valley during the June 2015 floods.

West Coast activates for June floods

The winter storm event started with a heavy rain watch issued on 16 June for South Westland.

By the next day severe weather forecasts for the West Coast stated that up to 500mm of rain was forecast for the mountain areas and lesser amounts of up to 180mm would occur on the coastal plains (actually 221mm at Hokitika).

The West Coast CDEM Group office started issuing weather watches on 16 June to the distribution list. This was changed to weather warnings by the morning of 17 June and advice that residents needed to get prepared. The advice went out to media, CDEM organisations, tourist sites, the New Zealand Transport Agency and the public.

On the evening of 18 June, the Regional CDEM Manager had a meeting with the Duty Regional Hydrologist and discussed the process of notification for the evening of 18 June for all rivers in the catchment knowing that a substantive rain event was coming.

Texts arrived from Westland District Emergency Management advising there was severe flooding early in the area on the evening of 18 June. By mid-evening, the Hokitika town centre (pictured above) and surrounding streets were heavily flooded and the fire service was doing many pump outs. The Area Fire Manager reported the Hokitika Rest Home was badly impacted by flooding and was being evacuated along with surrounding houses in side streets.

Police and Westland Emergency Management Officer Vern Morris carried out an area assessment and then went to council to begin setting up the Westland Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).

Fire Service support from Greymouth were hindered by a flooded State Highway 6. Rivers had burst their banks, strewing rocks and rubble across highway lanes. Clearly the road was very marginal with large swathes of water coming off hillsides which meant evacuated residents would not be able to be taken to Greymouth in the first instance.

Local measures were undertaken by St John which arranged care at another local hostel facility at a higher elevation at Hokitika.  Later St John took some residents through to Greymouth Hospital once the flood waters had receded to a reasonable extent. Up to 49 residents were evacuated from the Rest Home.

The following days included carrying out Needs Assessments on all impacted residents using NZ Red Cross to help determine the extent of damage and welfare plans needed for displaced residents. All residences had been assessed by council and Public Health by 21 June to determine when residents could return or not.

The Recovery team formally swung into action on 22 June. That work is continuing but tailing off with infrastructure repairs now being carried out. The Westland EOC stood down on Sunday evening 21 June after 80 hours of continuous duty.

For the rest of the region, the Grey River flood alarms went off at midnight and again at 3am on 19 June with the Flood Committee meeting twice as the water rose. Some flood barriers were moved into position.

Under the criteria of the Grey River Flood plan, the river was 0.5m from where a State of Emergency would have been declared for Greymouth so that the required evacuations for residents and protection of the town Centre from flooding would have begun. The Grey River tapered off and starting receding by mid-morning of 19 June so only a watching brief remained more so for houses at Cobden which can be impacted by a rising Grey River.

Article contributed by Chris Raine,
Regional Manager, West Coast Civil Defence Emergency Management Group

New Zealand Symposium on Disaster Risk Reduction

In mid-June MCDEM hosted the New Zealand Symposium on Disaster Risk Reduction at Te Papa, Wellington, in conjunction with the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) and GNS Science.

The aim of the Symposium was to share current disaster risk reduction research and practice, and to undertake an initial assessment of how New Zealand aligns with the new Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.

The Symposium was opened by the Minister for Civil Defence, the Hon. Nikki Kaye, where she also announced that Cabinet has approved changes to the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 aimed at improving the way we support communities recovering from emergencies.

The Symposium included a series of four sessions – aligned with the four priorities for action from the Sendai Framework – on understanding disaster risk, strengthening disaster risk governance, investing in disaster risk reduction and resilience, and enhancing disaster risk preparedness. Each session had subject-specific panels that contained a number of five minute presentations from key speakers from throughout New Zealand, followed by a Q&A style discussion.

There was an amazing turn-out at the Symposium, with a packed theatre of over 300 people, made-up of representatives from central government, local government, non-government organisations, crown research institutes, universities and other hazard and risk specialists, the emergency services, and community, Iwi and private sector representatives. The nearly-50 speakers were from a similarly broad range of organisations and included several high profile speakers, including two mayors, several chief executives, and other community and organisational leaders.

Overall, the Symposium seemed to be a big success with extremely positive feedback and good degree of enthusiasm expressed for the day and the way ahead. The Symposium is only the first step: MCDEM intends to hold future events that will delve more deeply into areas of the Sendai Framework and to progress the national conversation on disaster risk and resilience.

Article contributed by Jo Horrocks
Principal Advisor Emergency Management, MCDEM

National CDEM Strategy 2017

Work has begun on the review of the current National Civil Defence Emergency Management Strategy and development of a new Strategy.

While the last Strategy was essentially a rollover of the previous Strategy – having only been in place for three years – the Strategy in its current form has now been in place for nearly 12 years. This time we envisage a more significant revision to really get to the crux of the challenges we face and take us to the next level in our management of them.

The Strategy is likely to place more emphasis on understanding and addressing total disaster risk; that is, examining the range of factors that contribute to risk, and the effort needed across disciplines and sectors to minimise our risk and strengthen our resilience. It will acknowledge the effort needed at all levels – from individuals to communities to society – and look at priorities across timeframes, in the short, medium, and long term, with an emphasis on having a long-term view on what we are trying to achieve (reduced risk and increased resilience, ultimately).

There is a lot of work needed to agree on the goals and priorities, and fill in the detail.

We are keen to have as many people as possible participate in that. We are developing an ‘engagement schedule’ and will be in touch with organisations soon to gauge your opinions and willingness to participate. We will also be forming a Steering Group and an Advisory Group. Please do contact Jo Horrocks if you have a particular keenness to participate, otherwise, “watch this space”.

For any queries, please contact Jo Horrocks at MCDEM, by emailing jo.horrocks@dpmc.govt.nz or calling (04) 817 8575.

New Zealand ShakeOut – less than three months to go!

7 Days presenter Jeremy Corbett is the latest prominent New Zealander to feature in a video promoting New Zealand ShakeOut

There’s now less than three months to go until New Zealand ShakeOut, our national earthquake drill, takes place at 9:15am, 15 October 2015.

As of 23 July, over 450,000 New Zealanders had signed up online at www.shakeout.govt.nz to take part in the Drop, Cover and Hold drill.

You can visit http://www.shakeout.govt.nz/participants.php?start=All to see how registration numbers are tracking in your region.

Plenty of work has been going on behind the scenes to encourage as many people as possible to participate, and to also encourage people to check their emergency preparedness plans at home and at work.

MCDEM recently released the latest New Zealand ShakeOut video featuring Jeremy Corbett, presenter of television comedy 7 Days. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch the video on the NZ Get Thru You Tube channel at https://youtu.be/J4ZYeV2pHvw

More videos are planned, so stay tuned to find out who else is participating in New Zealand ShakeOut 2015.

A raft of other resources are also available to help CDEM Groups, councils and other organisations promote New Zealand ShakeOut in their own communities and encourage local people and organisations to get better prepared for major earthquakes, and practise ‘Drop, Cover and Hold’ – the right action to take in an earthquake.

MCDEM is supplying a set number of ShakeOut promotional items to CDEM Groups including flag pens, luggage tags, balloons, and smart phone wallets. These items are being dispatched to CDEM Group offices this week.

We have also developed New Zealand ShakeOut Champions Guidelines for businesses and for schools. These are designed to assist those people who will be driving ShakeOut within their own workplace or school, and outlines the various New Zealand ShakeOut resources and information available to them. The guidelines are available to download at www.shakeout.govt.nz/resources

Here’s a taste of what else CDEM Groups and councils around the country are doing to promote ShakeOut to their own communities:

• Councils have included ShakeOut advertising in newsletters to ratepayers
• Auckland included a half page advertisement in Our Auckland magazine, sent to over half a million homes
• Canterbury have produced a video with Stan and pre-schoolers
• Southland have filmed their Mayors promoting the drill
• Gisborne has a banner ad on the council website and the ShakeOut videos on their CDEM site

Be sure to let us know what other exciting and innovative ways you are getting involved with ShakeOut!

New Zealand ShakeOut Coordinators
Bridget Cheesman and Jamie Shaw, MCDEM

Southland utilises social media for snow warnings

We have become so mobile in our lives as soon as we have some impediment to that mobility we feel as if our lives have been changed dramatically. The snow storm forecast to hit Southland on 6 July was an opportunity to warn the public.

Emergency Management Southland posted a Facebook message about the heavy falls predicted down to 100m and supplemented it with a map of that 100m level (pictured above).  Our hope was to reach as many people as we could so that they could be just that little bit better prepared. 

It was apparent that the freeze was going to prevail for three days and as it transpired it did.

The response to the post was phenomenal with the final count being 47,312 people reached with 439 shares. 

We monitored the page and answered any queries that came in into the evening.  It was interesting to note people from the Philippines checking on their relatives and the lady in Australia who apparently misread our title as ‘Emergency Management Scotland’ and thought we were having summer snow…

While there was a bit more work in monitoring the site into the night, the nett benefit of all this was that the message was spread very quickly to a wide audience, and the traffic issues were hopefully only limited to those who definitely had to travel.

Article contributed by Craig Sinclair
Emergency Management Southland

Consultation on the draft Revised Guide to the National CDEM Plan 17 July – 11 Sept 2015

The revised Guide to the National CDEM Plan 2015 (the revised Guide) outlines New Zealand’s arrangements for the national management or support for local management of emergencies.

The purpose of the revised Guide is to assist and support New Zealand agencies to achieve the purpose of the new National CDEM Plan 2015 (the Plan 2015), which is to come into force on 1 December 2015.

A review of the Guide to the National CDEM Plan 2009 commenced in early 2015, with the aim of realigning it with the Plan 2015 and improving documentation on further enhanced arrangements.

Years of work and extensive consultation with the public and relevant agencies and organisations on the Plan 2015 have resulted in significantly strengthened arrangements that are robust, current and well understood with those agencies and organisations with responsibilities in the Plan 2015. With this in mind, the revised Guide has been amended to act as a “slimmed down” operational support mechanism to the Plan 2015, incorporating Plan 2015 wording and supplementing this with diagrams, practical operational detail and a navigational tool to direct agencies and CDEM Groups to appropriate resources for use across the 4Rs.

The revised Guide is intended to be a ‘living document’, and is to be updated and republished (in consultation with relevant agencies), as operational arrangements, policy and planning are further developed. 

The civil defence emergency management sector, agencies with arrangements in the revised Guide, and organisations with an interest in emergency management are being consulted on this draft revised document.

Making a submission

Submissions close: 5pm, Friday 11 September 2015.

Consultation is scheduled to take place from 17 July – 11 September 2015. The document will be posted on the MCDEM website (www.civildefence.govt.nz) in full and by section, allowing readers to provide comment on the document as a whole or to focus on their areas of interest.

All comments will be considered and analysed in collaboration with relevant agencies before finalising the revisions to be made to the revised Guide.  There are two ways you can make a submission:

1. Electronically complete the submission form (WORD), which can be found at www.civildefence.govt.nz, and email to:  NationalCDEM.Plan@dpmc.govt.nz; OR

2. Print the submission form, which can be found at www.civildefence.govt.nz, write your comments directly on it and post to:

Guide to the National CDEM Plan 2015 Review
Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management
PO Box 5010, Wellington

Youth Looking Beyond Disaster

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 identifies major demographic groups as stakeholders for reducing risk and enhancing resilience, including youth. In New Zealand, the importance of youth has been strongly demonstrated on the ground, for example by the thousands of young people who have helped (and continue to help) in the recovery and rebuild from the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes.

In light of this strong youth response, three UNESCO offices (the NZ National Commission for UNESCO, the Bangkok UNESCO Office, and the UNESCO Office of the Pacific in Apia) jointly invited young people to develop and participate in the first ever Looking Beyond Disaster (LBD) forum. With a 50:50 mix of local and international participants, I was privileged to join 100 youth from 19 countries who attended the forum in Christchurch in December 2011, which was designed as a platform for young people to share their disaster experience and create action plans that meet their needs and aspirations.

In March 2015, the UNESCO LBD toolkit, a community resource for engaging young people in disaster risk reduction, was launched by LBD alumni at the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan. Based on lessons from the inaugural Christchurch event, and a series of LBD forums that followed, the toolkit shows how the creativity, technological capability, and enthusiasm of young people can be effectively and practically utilised for enhancing community resilience through youth-led initiatives.

Last month, I participated in an LBD youth workshop in Arizona, where we broadened the exchange of ideas to include challenges to resilience faced by indigenous people. I was impressed that four years since the first event in Christchurch, young people had again travelled far and wide (from the Pacific, Asia, and Africa) to participate, discuss, and reinforce the commitment of young people to reducing the impacts of all kinds of disasters and emergencies. One participant even planned to lead the facilitation of the first LBD event for youth in Kathmandu, Nepal, to be held later this year.

Back home, equipped with the LBD toolkit and the mandate of the Sendai Framework, there is an exciting opportunity for our sector to lead the world by significantly increasing the engagement of young people in our CDEM activities. Our country's ageing population points to the pressing need for youth engagement - on local, regional, and national scales - as we work to prepare for future risks, hazards, and emergencies.

The LBD toolkit can be downloaded from www.lookingbeyonddisaster.com

Article contributed by Mark Lentham-Brake
Community Resilience Coordinator, Christchurch City Council

Know your hazards; Auckland Local Board Hazard Reports

Living with risk is a part of life.

We can’t predict emergencies, but we can reduce their impact and help prepare our communities to recover quickly when they do occur.

Each local board area in the Auckland region has a very different and complex range of hazards. Local boards located on the coast can have very different hazards to those located inland. The community’s exposure to this diverse range of hazards is determined by where, when and how often they occur. Knowing and understanding these hazards at a local scale can help the Auckland communities be better prepared in an emergency.

Auckland Civil Defence Emergency Management has recognised that we need to work more with the community and better educate them on their risks, so these documents are getting that conversation started. We aim to have the reports available as a resource in libraries, schools, customer service centres, local board offices, and on the Auckland Council website.

We expect communities will gain a better understanding of what hazards may occur in their area, and reflect on hazards that have occurred in the past, to encourage preparedness and increase resilience. Future climate change effects and strong growth predictions are also considered to ensure that communities have an appreciation of the future hazardscape.

The reports will be launched within each local board area through various community engagement forums.  Summary A5 flyers have also been developed to compliment the reports specific to each local board area. The flyers will be used in letter box drops and for community education. The first 7 local board reports have been completed and are available here

Article contributed by Brodie Rafferty
Hazards Advisor, Auckland Council

New vehicle helps remote community respond to emergencies

Photo: Selwyn Mayor Kelvin Coe presents Nic Menary with the keys to the new emergency response vehicle (also pictured, from left: Chris Stewart, Peter Neale and Graeme Kates)

The keys to a new emergency response vehicle were officially handed over in July to the Arthur’s Pass Volunteer Rural Fire Force.

The Toyota Landcruiser double cab has been fitted out to be suitable for use in the alpine area of Arthur’s Pass and the extreme weather conditions the area experiences. The new emergency response vehicle will be used for tackling small vegetation fires, spot fires and car fires.  It will also be useful to safely close off both ends of the road at crash scenes to manage traffic flows efficiently. The vehicle has medical equipment such as a defibrillator and a stretcher. It also includes fire equipment, and a water tank that holds 200 litres with a foam induction system.

Selwyn District Council’s Deputy Principal Rural Fire Officer, Douglas Marshall, said the council is providing the vehicle to help the Arthur’s Pass Volunteer Rural Fire Force keep its community safe and provide extra assistance for the many roles they perform as volunteers.

“The Arthur’s Pass Volunteer Rural Fire Force is quite different from any other volunteer service. Arthur’s Pass is such a small village that the volunteers do everything - the same group of people are the firefighters, the ambulance first responders, Civil Defence volunteers and search and rescue team.”

Selwyn District Council provided $60,000 for the vehicle to be purchased, fitted out and brought up to emergency response standards.  The vehicle can carry four passengers – twice as many as the old vehicle, which dated from the 1970s. The Arthur’s Pass fire force also has a modern four wheel drive fire appliance, which will continue to be used alongside the new vehicle, allowing a full team of volunteers to attend emergencies.  Previously volunteers used their own vehicles if additional personnel were required or for crew changes.

Arthur’s Pass Volunteer Rural Fire Force Controller Nic Menary said the vehicle was a great addition. “We are immensely grateful to the council for providing us with this vehicle. It is a big step up in capability and will allow volunteers to respond to emergencies more efficiently.”

He said one of the most valuable assets of the vehicle is its radio communications which allow the team to communicate with fire and ambulance services, search and rescue, Selwyn District Council Civil Defence, the Department of Conservation and helicopters.

“There are very few vehicles as versatile as this one in the country.”

The vehicle started service with the volunteer group at the beginning of July and has already attended car crashes.

Article contributed by Ryan O’Rourke
Emergency Management Officer, Selwyn District Council

HMNZS PEGASUS training supports CDEM in Christchurch

On Monday 22 June, HMNZS PEGASUS conducted a Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) exercise with assistance from Canterbury CDEM Group (CCDEMG) to consolidate recent CDEM training.

The training was focused on manning and understanding functions of an activated Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in an emergency.  The NZDF is mandated as a key support agency for emergencies. Recent events including the stranding of RENA, the response to the Christchurch earthquake sequence and the response to the recent flooding incidents have highlighted opportunities for development in the CDEM role.

The exercise involved a significant snow event scenario in the region. This was pertinent given the southern part of the South Island was receiving heavy snow falls. Wet weather also meant that three local authorities across NZ had real emergencies underway at the time - with NZDF providing support to two of those.

The EOC was stood-up and manned by PEGASUS, with coaching from CCDEMG personnel.  Members of PEGASUS were rotated through the key positions, to gain a broad exposure to the roles, and gain a deeper understanding of how the NZDF and Naval Reserve can help with manning an EOC and support operations in the field.  There was also discussion on how we can be better prepared in future, and how we can work together to support our local communities when they need us most.

The exercise showcased to key CDEM personnel how local Naval Reserve could support emergency operations in future, with well-trained, disciplined and enthusiastic personnel.

Article contributed by Lieutenant Michael Lester
Projects Officer, HMNZS PEGASUS

Indonesians visit for Disaster Risk Reduction Comparative Study Tour

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade funded, GNS-led StIRRRD programme recently hosted a 26 member Indonesian delegation of government and university representatives for a comparative study tour of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in New Zealand. 

With 250 million people and a landscape subjected to frequent natural disasters, Indonesia is taking action to reduce losses from disasters and strengthen community resilience, assisted by New Zealand. 

The StIRRRD programme is working with provincial and district governments and universities in four Indonesian provinces to increase their capacity for DRR.  The numerous natural hazards that New Zealand and Indonesia share puts us in a strong position to share knowledge and make a real difference.

The New Zealand tour started in Christchurch where the participants heard from a variety of speakers and saw in the field how New Zealand is rebuilding the city after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.  The emphasis was on DRR, putting in place procedures and infrastructure so that recovery and rebuild following a major disaster are less of a drain on people, society and the government.  From Christchurch the delegation travelled to Wellington followed by a fieldtrip to Taupo and Rotorua showcasing land stability and volcanic hazards.

Other highlights of the study tour included a welcome Powhiri, conversations with Wellington local government representatives, the Island Bay Tsunami Blue Line, a visit to the Wellington Emergency Management Office and an evening function hosted by the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington.

Article contributed by Dr Phaedra Upton
GNS Science

YES participants wow emergency services in Thames-Coromandel

Photo: Nicole Cameron, left, Molly Aldrich and Sarah Bax go over the details of an emergency situation with Thames Valley emergency manager for Civil Defence Gary Talbot in the control centre. (Photo: Fairfax Media)

June was truly a month of learning and new experiences, not only for the 18 participants in the Thames-Coromandel YES programme, but their Emergency Services mentors.

Instigated by a visit from the Minister for Civil Defence and Youth, Nikki Kaye, and funded by the Ministry of Youth Development, Thames-Coromandel was ready for the opportunity to shine.

The programme is designed to strengthen the connection between young people and their communities.

“It is easy to be disheartened by how young people are perceived,” said Helen Flynn, Thames Valley Emergency Operating Area Emergency Management Officer and Project Champion.

“But seeing the level of engagement and the passion they showed for what we do was so humbling.”

The participants, aged between 16 and 21, spent every Thursday night and Sunday in June experiencing the work of key emergency services in the Thames-Coromandel, including Civil Defence, LandSAR, St John and NZ Fire.

“Not only did we learn about real life situations and the skills to be able to save someone, we were encouraged to get out of our comfort zone,” said Georgia Cook, Thames participant.

All four services collaborated to test what they had learned in a range of emergency scenarios including a declared civil emergency, a motor vehicle accident and people lost and injured in the bush.

Participants were honoured with a formal graduation. Eight of them have signed up to volunteer for emergency services in the area and three are undecided about which one they want to volunteer for.

The programme was so successful Mercury Bay and Whangamata are considering hosting a programme early next year.

Article contributed by Rebekah Duffin
Communications and Marketing Officer, Thames-Coromandel District Council

Minister Tolley meets Rangitikei Enhanced Taskforce Green crew

Photo: The Enhanced Taskforce Green crew in Rangitikei is pictured left with the Minister. Left to right are: Leon Tui, Ejazz Pomana, Terepai Tangimetua, Tama Edmonds, Rangitikei District Councillor Lynne Sheridan, Crew Supervisor Triez Johnson, Kevin Morris (RDC) and Minister Tolley.

In the end, Minister for Social Development Anne Tolley did not need the gumboots provided especially for her visit with Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) workers in rural Rangitikei.

Mrs Tolley met the crew on 7 July 2015. The Minister navigated her way along the sodden road verge for the informal visit to thank workers for their contribution to the vital recovery effort.

“Where we are standing now, the water would have been up to our waists at the height of the flood,” one of them said. 

While the banter between the ETFG crew and the Minister was light and good-natured, losses of new-born lambs and ewes carrying the new season’s lambs were a sobering reminder of the flood’s impact.

Mrs Tolley was also interested in what the workers had been doing before the ETFG call-up.

“I was looking for work,” said Terepai Tangimetua.

“We were all on the dole!” said one of the others.

Terepai and the crew had all been Jobseeker Support payment recipients and were enjoying the opportunity of paid work and helping put things to rights following the floods.

“We’ve heard that the farmer on this property is really happy with what we’ve done which is cool, man,” said one.

“They have done a good job.  I’ve been most impressed so far,” said Rangitikei District Council’s (RDC) Kevin Morris.

“On Monday (29 June) we were asked to organise a crew for Marton and we got them in to their training the very next day,” says Work and Income’s Regional Labour Market Advisor Terry Curran (pictured above right).  “It’s a testament to the Marton Work and Income team who knew their clients and who to bring in for this work. This crew is outstandingly enthusiastic about the work they’re doing and particularly stoked with the feedback from the farmer - as am I!”

Article contributed by Gail Bennett
Community Liaison Advisor, Ministry of Social Development

New Zealand Rainfall and Runoff (NZRR) Standards

Water New Zealand has commenced a project to develop a set of national rainfall and runoff standards for New Zealand, covering both urban and rural land.

Although flooding is New Zealand’s greatest risk there has been no integrated policy guidance for managing flood risks at the local level since 1988. Currently, Councils undertake flood risk planning separately in the absence of any national standards.

National standards would assist in achieving effective planning and management outcomes. Many of the communities exposed to flood risk are constrained in terms of knowledge and skills availability, the affordability of flood management techniques, such as flood forecasting, and access to funding for capital works.

Currently there are a number of regional guidelines and methods, as well as informal and in-house approaches to generating flood estimates by rainfall-runoff methods. Each of them produces widely varying outputs, even when using the same input data. +/- 50% variation in runoff volume is easily possible.

Benefits of a NZRR would include savings from:

• Consent applications where analyses are undertaken using approved methods, saving the need for extensive justification of method employed and for peer review;

• Elimination of separate standards across regions – one set of standards could apply nationally;

• Consistency in results across different methods would lend greater credibility to analyses, resulting in higher confidence in outputs;

• Reduction in insurance costs as certainty and consistency allows improved infrastructure and reduces insurance premiums;

• Reduction in central government costs to assist communities to recover from floods.

For further information contact Nick Walmsley at Water New Zealand: technical@waternz.org.nz

Beyond our Fault - South Island Emergency Management Conference

Please join us in Christchurch for the South Island Emergency Management Conference, to be held August 13-14.

Building on the success of the South Island Emergency Management Conference hosted by the West Coast Civil Defence Emergency Management Group in 2014, this year’s conference focuses broadly around best practice, lessons learned from recent national and international emergency events and planning for a South Island Alpine Fault response.

The Conference will feature:

• Mayor of Christchurch, Hon. Lianne Dalziel;
• Hon. Nikki Kaye, Minister for ACC; Minister of Civil Defence; Minister for Youth; and
• Elizabeth McNaughton, Executive Director of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Lessons Learned programme at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

A full programme and registration form are available online at http://www.civildefence.govt.nz/about/news-and-events/events/beyond-our-fault-south-island-cdem-conference-2015/

Be sure to RSVP, spaces are strictly limited.

For further information please contact:
Alicia Palmer
Community Resilience Coordinator
Civil Defence Emergency Management & Rural Fire Unit
Christchurch City Council
Email: alicia.palmer@ccc.govt.nz
Phone: (03) 941 8999

Introducing Exercise Tangaroa 2016

In August and September 2016, the next Tier 4 CDEM exercise will be conducted (Exercise Tangaroa).  Some of you may remember Exercise Tangaroa 2010, a national tsunami exercise that looked at the end to end warning system based on a distant source tsunami.  The 2016 exercise will cover the post-impact phase of a tsunami response. The exercise will involve all 16 CDEM Groups and partner agencies.  Planning for the exercise is now getting underway in earnest.

There are a number of response and recovery aspects they we would like to test during the exercise, and therefore a phased approach will be taken:

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

Planning Structure for the exercise

1. Planning Group (‘the doers’): Responsible for exercise design, conduct and evaluation.

2. Steering Group (‘the good news spreaders’): Responsible for assisting the Planning Group with the communication and implementation of exercise plans within and across agencies. 

3. Governance Group (‘the big tickers’): The already established CDEM NEP 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.

The Steering Group will be meeting for the first time in July and this will be followed by a Governance Group meeting in August.  After that, the Planning Team will be getting stuck in to developing the exercise.

For any queries, please contact Sara Leighton at MCDEM by emailing sara.leighton@dpmc.govt.nz or calling (04) 817 8588.

Escape tool to the rescue

Recently a Whakatāne Emergency Response Team member was involved in an accident where the vehicle rolled and landed on its side.

The damage to the vehicle meant the driver was unable to open the doors, but fortunately, a Rescue Escape Tool on the key ring allowed him to ‘pop’ the window and escape from the vehicle. Had the circumstances been different (for example, the vehicle ending up in a drain, or bursting into flames), the consequences could have been very serious.

Team Manager, Tony Gillard said that as a result of the accident the Whakatāne Emergency Response Team decided that there should be an Escape Tool in all team members’ vehicles, either for self-rescue or to cater for the possibility of being first on the scene at an accident. The Whakatāne Emergency Response Team also purchased and donated 60 Rescue Escape Tools for all Whakatāne District Council vehicles and all 38 Eastern Bay of Plenty Police vehicles. Following on from this, Council staff purchased a further 80 for private vehicles, Mr Gillard said.

New Gisborne CDEM team

Gisborne District Council has a new civil defence emergency management team in place. They take the opportunity here to introduce themselves to the wider sector.

W Louise Bennett (pictured centre) - Civil Defence Emergency Manager

I have worked for the Gisborne District Council for 16 years – initially as an Environmental Health Officer and moved up to Team Leader Environmental Protection before becoming the Civil Defence Emergency Manager in June. I studied extramurally for a Postgraduate certificate in hazard management through Otago University and have just graduated with my postgraduate diploma in emergency management though AUT. Home to me is our farm - 1hr 40 mins west of Gisborne – an area that suffered heavy snow falls with no power for seven days, no access and no phone. Living in an isolated rural area and dealing with a number of events from Cyclone Bola through to heavy rain, wind and snow storms means that I understand the need for readiness and the need for a robust civil defence response.

Leanne Williams (pictured left) – Emergency Management Support Officer

I have been with Civil Defence Emergency Management for 11 years and am involved with Rural Fire, Marine Oil Spill and Civil Defence doing everything from radio checks, HR contracts, purchase orders, Civil Defence website page and I make a great coffee! I was involved with the response to the 2007 earthquake, Cyclone Pam and various adverse weather condition events. I was involved with New Zealand Shakeout 2012 and am the main driver behind New Zealand Shakeout 2015 in Gisborne. I am also a member of the Maritme New Zealand national response team in the Logistics Team.

Paul Stuart – Civil Defence Training Assistant

I was a front line police officer for 18 years and started working for the Gisborne District Council in October 2005 in a part time role as the Public Education Officer/Training Assistant. This position at the time was only 10 hours a week, but during my second week I took charge of two Task Force Green teams cleaning up flood damage after the Labour Weekend Floods. One of my biggest challenges came with the December 2007 earthquake. I helped set up our Emergency Operations Centre and made sure our systems were up and running so we could effectively deal with the aftermath. In June 2009 I became the Team Leader for Parking & City Watch and remained part of the Civil Defence Team. When the training assistant role came up I decided to follow my passion and apply and was very lucky from my perspective to get a job I really wanted.

Introducing Tess Williamson

Say hello to MCDEM’s new Emergency Management Advisor of National Operations!

Tess Williamson joined the National Operations Team in May which is part of the Capability and Operations Unit of MCDEM.

Tess will be managing the National Warning System (NWS) portfolio, the Duty System and elements of the National Crisis Management Centre (NCMC) portfolio.

New to New Zealand, Tess comes from a background in Emergency Ambulance Communications in Australia. She has directed and coordinated a number of major emergency ambulance events requiring multi-agency response and support.

Tess’ quote of the week is: “If you're always perfect at everything you do, you can never be better at anything.”

She is looking forward to meeting you all in time and helping to create a more resilient New Zealand.

Please feel free to contact Tess via email: tess.williamson@dpmc.govt.nz or (04) 817 8587.

CDEM Controllers Development Programme

The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM) is now calling for nominations for attendance on the next cohort of the CDEM Controllers Development Programme.

The programme, a joint venture between MCDEM, Massey University, GNS and AUT, has been created to meet the capability development needs of Controllers at local, regional and national levels.  The CDEM Controllers' Development Programme is the only programme sanctioned by MCDEM to represent qualification for the role of Controller.

Nomination forms are available from MCDEM Regional Emergency Management Advisors. Nominations close 28 August 2015.

Dates for the Cohort 15/3 are:

Phase 1: Pre-course Development
Commencing 28 September 2015
(3-4 hours/week)

Phase 2: Residential Course
15-20 November 2015 – Christchurch (TBC)
(5 days x 8 hours minimum)

Phase 3: On-going Development
Completion no later than 7 April 2017
(5 hours/month)

Once nominations have been received by MCDEM, a selection process will occur and acceptance of attendance will be communicated to the respective individuals and CDEM Groups. The criteria for acceptance will be based on the principles of fairness, equity, and the ability to form a balanced cohort.

For any queries, please contact MCDEM Team Leader Capability Grant Morris, email grant.morris@dpmc.govt.nz or call 04 817 8581.

2015 Volcano Short Course

Are you prepared as an organisation to deal with a volcano problem?

Without the appropriate understanding, resources and best practices you may be judged harshly by your community with your response. The 2015 Volcano Short Course is your chance to better understand how your organisation can prepare for, and mitigate against a future volcanic crisis.

This year’s Volcano Short Course brings together volcanologists, social scientists, emergency responders and communication specialists to discuss and share the challenges of dealing with a volcano crisis. The two-day course includes keynote presentations from a range of specialists that form a multi-disciplinary team that explores relationships between the physical and social aspects of volcanic 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.

Following the course there will also be an optional 1 day field trip to Rangitoto Island to explore aspects of Auckland's youngest and most active volcano.

2015 Volcano Short Course- Mercure Hotel (Auckland) - 8/9 September 2015
Cost $500.  See http://gns.cri.nz/Home/News-and-Events/Events/Volcano-short-course for further information and registration details.

Article contributed by Brad Scott
Volcanologist, GNS Science

MCDEM Vacancy: Executive Assistant to the Director

If you are a highly organised self-starter who enjoys the challenge of working in a busy, dynamic environment, juggling multiple priorities at any one time, then this could be the role for you.

About the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM)
MCDEM 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.

About the role
MCDEM is looking for a highly organised, enthusiastic, flexible and adaptable person to provide the Director with dependable, personal, executive-level secretarial and administrative support. While directly responsible to the Director, the Executive Assistant will also be required to provide back up to other administration team members to ensure availability and delivery of effective business support services to all MCDEM teams.
Being one step ahead is important and your responsibilities will include a range of duties including:
• Senior relationship management
• Diary management, screening of calls and emails, receiving visitors and management and prioritisation of Director's correspondence
• Prioritisation of workflows in a fast paced environment
• Forward planning, document preparation and processing
• Administrative support
In addition to the above, you will be part of the MCDEM Duty Team. This involves being on a duty roster to support the response to emergencies. You will also be trained to support National Crisis Management Centre operations in the event of emergencies.

About you:
You will have experience providing high quality support services to senior management, including the ability to judge situations well, and take the initiative to respond appropriately where required. A flexible, positive attitude combined with excellent written and oral communication skills, and intermediate to advanced experience using Microsoft applications are essential.
Being unflappable under pressure is also key to your success in this role. A working knowledge to central government decision-making processes would be an advantage.

We offer you:
• Variety and challenge, working across a broad range of areas;
• A unique insight in to the operating of central government;
• A range of experience and opportunities for your ongoing professional development.

For more information and how to apply
For a job description, and to apply for this position, visit https://centralagenciesjobs.cass.govt.nz/jobdetails?jobmc=5942IWJ
For more information, please contact Anthea South, Senior HR Advisor anthea.south@cass.govt.nz  Please note all applicants must be New Zealand citizens and be able to obtain and maintain a high level security clearance.

Please note applications close Thursday 30 July at 6pm.

Sector Vacancy: Bay of Plenty Regional Council – Manager, Operational Readiness

Looking to live and work in a region where most people holiday? Become part of a growing team of professionals working towards community resilience and safety in the Bay of Plenty.

The Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management Group works collaboratively in the coordination of civil defence and emergency management activities across the Bay of Plenty Region.  Our partners include our 7 local councils, emergency services, lifeline utilities, welfare agencies alongside government and non-government agencies. Our priority is to work with communities to enhance their ability to cope with emergency events.

We have an exciting new position within Bay of Plenty Emergency Management which is based in Tauranga and administered by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
This role is to deliver and maintain an operational response model (trained teams, systems and facilities) that will enable the region to respond appropriately to both natural and non-natural emergencies. The role involves developing and implementing strategies, leading staff, building systems, conducting training and exercises, all designed to ensure our communities are ready and capable to respond effectively during an emergency. The position will also fulfil the role of Alternate Group Controller under the CDEM Act 2002, and will support the Group Controller in leading the CDEM Group response to major emergencies and disasters.

Applicants should have excellent written and oral communication skills, be a team player and have a relevant tertiary qualification.

We offer an attractive remuneration package, varied workload and excellent team environment.

The salary midpoint for this position will be approximately $111,000.00 and salary will be negotiated depending on the skills and experience of the successful applicant.

Applications close 5pm, Friday, 31 July 2015 and will be accepted online at www.boprc.govt.nz/jobs  Interviews for short listed candidates will be held in Tauranga.
This permanent, full time position is located in Tauranga, Bay of Plenty.

Copies of the position description are available from http://www.bfound.net/detail.aspx?jobId=130323&CoId=158&rq=2

Phone Clinton Naude, Director Bay of Plenty Emergency Management on 0800 884 880 for all other queries.