A new Local Emergency Management Civil Defence Plan recently approved by the Tararua District Council, identifies specific hazards in the district that could affect each and every one of us in the event of a natural disaster.
The purpose of the Local Plan is to identify shortfalls in the district’s current Civil Defence Emergency Management arrangements, and provide direction on future Civil Defence management within the district.
At present the Civil Defence and Emergency Management Act 2002 requires every regional council and territorial authority to have established a Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group (CDEM Group).
Tararua District Council is part of the Manawatu-Wanganui CDEM Group. In addition, the CDEM must have a Group Plan.
District Resilience Manager, Paddy Driver, says although there is no legislative requirement to have a Local Plan, it was felt the current CDEM Group Plan did not address specific local delivery issues.
Mr Driver says, to date there has been no such thing as a Local Civil Defence Emergency Plan and he believes this is the first one done by any Council in their group.
"The current Group Plan tends to look at hazards from a regional perspective rather than focus on specific hazards in our district, it is intended the Local Plan will correct this.
We don’t have volcanoes here so that is not a major issue for us, but we have bigger issues such as the Hikurangi trench off the coast of Akitio, the risk of Tsunami, these are far bigger issues for us," says Mr Driver.
The overall vision of the plan is to build a resilient and safer district, one in which communities understand and manage their hazards and risks.
Mr Driver says anyone who would like to know more about the plan will be able to access it on the Tararua District Council website within the next month.
Anyone who is interested in becoming involved in Civil Defence can contact Mr Driver at the Tararua District Council offices, during normal working hours.
- written by Barbara Gillham