An assessment of the capability of the region’s Civil Defence Emergency Management Group has shown it has a strong foundation.
The first ever assessment was carried out in April and is part of a national review process which will look at every local Civil Defence Group throughout the country every three years.
The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM) carried out the review. The Ministry says the evaluation has revealed the Nelson Tasman Group to be very capable, with the commitment of stakeholders at all levels, and comprehensive planning having been undertaken across the 4Rs. (Readiness, Response, Resilience, Recovery).
Alan Walker from the Ministry says “The report showed Nelson to be one of the best performing Civil Defence Groups in New Zealand evaluated so far.”
The report notes positive working relationships and the strong regional focus of the civil defence management structure, which consists of the CEOs of the two councils and heads of the emergency services, District Health Board and the Ministry of Social Development.
The report also highlighted the engagement of a supportive governance structure for regional civil defence, which consists of the Mayors and Deputy Mayors of Nelson City and Tasman District. The Ministry says the strength of the CDEM Group also lies in competent individuals in key roles, well established networks and a strong sense that members will be able to rely on each other for support if needed.
The report says there is a high level of confidence in the Group’s ability to respond to an event of short duration, as well as the recognition that an event of longer duration is going to cause some degree of difficulty for its member organisations and communities. With this in mind community response plans have proven to be a successful mechanism to promote and enable community resilience.
However the assessment says there are some areas that could benefit from further attention. The most frequently raised issues related to the sourcing and developing of a dedicated Group Emergency Operations Centre, as well as the need to ensure there is ‘real’ capability and capacity behind the plans and procedures that have been developed over recent years.
The report concludes the Nelson Tasman Group has a very strong foundation - in its organisational and governance structures, the commitment of agencies and individuals, and the comprehensive way in which it approaches Civil Defence Emergency Management.
Nelson Tasman Emergency Management Manager Roger Ball has welcomed the assessment.
“It has been a very valuable exercise for all concerned and gratifying to know we are on the right track in so many areas. This report is a credit to all those concerned and the challenge now is to improve on those areas the Ministry has identified, such as a dedicated Group Emergency Operations Centre.”