Silver acknowledgements for civil defence service

Tuesday 11 December 2012, 5:09PM

By Bay of Plenty Regional Council



Outstanding leadership and moral courage were just two of the attributes acknowledged by Minister of Civil Defence Hon Chris Tremain when awarding two Bay of Plenty recipients at the 2012 Ministerial Civil Defence Awards.

Opotiki Mayor John Forbes and former Whakatane District Council Chief Executive Diane Turner have been recognised for their civil defence contributions to the region with Silver Awards which were presented at a ceremony held in Wellington yesterday.

Mayor Forbes serves as the current Chair of the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group Joint Committee, and Ms Turner formerly held the role of Chair of the Bay of Plenty Coordinating Executive Group (CEG). She has since moved to Christchurch and is Deputy Chief Executive, Recovery Strategy Planning and Policy at Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.

Current Chair of the Coordinating Executive Group (CEG) Aileen Lawrie said it's great to once again see representatives of the Bay of Plenty Emergency Management Group being acknowledged.

"Only six Silver Awards were presented this year, so it's fantastic that two of the awards recognised emergency management work in the Bay of Plenty.

"It's a great achievement for the Bay of Plenty Emergency Management Group and a special acknowledgement for the two recipients who have both been dedicated to Civil Defence work for many years," Ms Lawrie said.

In deciding the awards, the Minister acknowledged the critical role that Mayor Forbes has played since joining the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group Joint Committee.

As mayor of Opotiki, Mayor Forbes has been involved in two emergencies that required declarations. He maintained close contact with the affected communities and the media and used his leadership, moral courage and mana to great effect.

Mayor Forbes is renowned as a strong and influential advocate of community preparedness in the Bay of Plenty Group.

Ms Turner was acknowledged for her outstanding leadership, advocacy and guidance as Chair of the CEG.
She has experienced the Edgecumbe earthquake, fires, the Matahina Dam failure, threats of tsunami and volcanic activity and many storms and flooding emergencies.
Ms Turner's understanding of the role of CDEM, the community and the need for preparedness is recognised as excellent.
The awards were not the only accolades for the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management Group this year - last month Whakatane-based New Zealand Response Team 17 was recognised for providing 10 years or more service to civil defence.

Other recipients of the Ministerial Civil Defence awards were:

  • David Brunsdon for his commitment to and support to the development of resilience in lifeline utilities and work with Urban search and Rescue.
  • Mayor Bob Parker of Christchurch for his community leadership following the 22 February earthquake.
  • GNS Science Hazards Group for the research, hosting and development of Geonet and advice on seismology, volcanology, tsunami and social science.
  • Jo Guard and Anita Komen jointly for their development and implementation of New Zealand ShakeOut in 2012.
  • John Hamilton, Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management, for his leadership as National Controller during the response to the 22 February 2011 earthquake.