New structure strengthens Otago Civil Defence

Published: Wed 5 Oct 2016 05:00 PM
Wednesday, 5 October 2016
New structure strengthens Otago Civil Defence
Otago’s six councils today announced the decision to move to a centralised model for the delivery of Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) in Otago.
The decision comes after several reviews of the Otago CDEM structure, which have called for more efficient, effective, and consistent operation across the region.
The centralised model will see Otago Regional Council oversee the coordinated delivery of civil defence throughout Otago. Emergency management officers will remain located within each district or city council, but will report to the CDEM regional manager Chris Hawker. It is a model that operates in 12 of the 16 regions in New Zealand and will come into effect on 1 November.
Chairman of the CDEM Coordinating Executive Group, which involves all councils in Otago, Peter Bodeker, said the timing was right for a new way of working.
“The new model allows us to establish a strong, coherent team with clear lines of responsibility and accountability. It will ensure greater community resilience, consistency of message, and programme delivery across the region,” Mr Bodeker said.
“It will provide for better support networks and sharing of resources between districts both in times of emergency and ‘peace time’.”
Stephen Woodhead, who currently chairs the Otago CDEM Joint Committee, said the move was a very positive one for Otago.
“This is an opportunity for us to further strengthen and cement the partnerships between all councils in the region, who unanimously voted for the change,” Mr Woodhead said.
“The key focus for the new organisation is increasing the resilience of our communities and working in closer collaboration with our regional partners, including emergency services, DHBs, and government agencies,” he said.
Last month the Otago CDEM Group launched a new website, which has a strong focus on community education and emergency preparedness.

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