Hamilton Leads Way with Proactive Approach to Civil Defence
HAMILTON LEADS WAY WITH PROACTIVE APPROACH TO CIVIL DEFENCE
12 SEPTEMBER 2013
For Immediate Release
The Minister of Civil Defence, Nikki Kaye, visited Hamilton’s Civil Defence and Emergency Management (CDEM) operation this week and commended the city’s operations as being one of the most progressive in New Zealand.
“I was very impressed with the innovative use of technology by the Hamilton City Council Operations Centre. I was also pleased to see the significant progress overall that the Hamilton City Council has made in Civil Defence emergency management,” the Minister said.
Ms Kaye, along with National MPs Tim Macindoe and David Bennett, was hosted by Mayor Julie Hardaker at a simulated civil defence emergency at Hamilton City Council.
Mayor Hardaker said: “While Hamilton is known for being one of the safest cities in New Zealand because of our geographic location, it is important that we do not become complacent. The Council takes a proactive approach to civil defence and emergency management. It is very much a priority for us.”
Among the technologies on display for the Minister was an advanced GIS system that consists of layers of information which gives occupant details, building type and water and utilities infrastructure, which can then be used in a response situation.
Local Controller Blair Bowcott said: “Having local spatial information is the key to enabling an effective and efficient response in an emergency. Our current technology contributes to the preparedness of Hamilton city in reacting to a civil defence emergency.’’
Hamilton’s CDEM invested in two Smart Boards which are interactive and give the response team real-time advantages and ease of navigation of the internet via the large touch screens without the need for a computer operator or a fixed image via a projector.
The Minister also commended the Hamilton CDEM operations on its emergency communication strategy, which relies heavily on a social media to address the problem of reliability of information during an emergency.
The Minister also visited the broader Waikato CDEM Group during her trip to Hamilton.
She said: “I was able to see how far they have come since the last Capability Assessment and we discussed achievements such as enhanced internal reporting and monitoring within the Group through the Group Emergency Management Office (GEMO), with perhaps the most comprehensive systems in the country.’’