OTAGO CIVIL DEFENCE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT GROUP
11 October 2016
Queenstown hosts South Island emergency management conference
Focussing on community resilience in readiness, response and recovery during an adverse event will be the main theme of
the annual South Island Civil Defence Emergency Management conference in Queenstown on Thursday and Friday (October 13
Conference chairman Chris Hawker, who is also regional manager/group controller for Emergency Management Otago, said the
conference was about helping ensure these communities were as resilient and prepared as possible for such events.
About 65 delegates from emergency management organisations throughout the South Island and the Ministry of Civil Defence
and Emergency Management are expected to attend the conference.
Queenstown was a particularly relevant venue because of its proximity to the Alpine Fault, Mr Hawker said. With this in
mind, the conference programme on Friday includes an update on the Alpine Fault resilience project, a collaborative
research project involving the emergency management sector and the University of Otago Centre for Sustainability.
Keynote speakers at the conference include Dr Pragati Gautama, who will talk about her experience of the February 2011
earthquake in Christchurch; John Hartnell from the ‘Farmy Army’, which played a key role in marshalling volunteer
assistance from the rural sector during the earthquake, and MCDEM director Sarah Stuart-Black.