Central and local govt play roles in emergency prepareness
8 May 2014
Central and local government play vital roles in emergency preparedness
Central government’s development of a continuity plan as part of its response to a large scale disaster in Wellington has been welcomed by Wellington Civil Defence Group Chair, Nick Leggett.
He says the Government should be commended for developing continuity plans which would ensure Parliament and the Government can function after a major earthquake in Wellington, in the worst case scenario by establishing a temporary seat of government in Auckland.
Of course local government also has a vital role in emergency preparedness.
“The Wellington region is not waiting for a significant disaster to occur before ensuring the key drivers for immediate recovery are planned for and in place.
“The region must be able to continue operating in the immediate aftermath of a large disaster. The key to a speedy and effective recovery is building resilience in our infrastructure and economy as well as ensuring we have a vibrant, connected and prepared society.”
Mr Leggett says the Wellington Civil Defence Group is engaging with Christchurch to apply the lessons learned from their recovery, as well as working closely with cities like San Francisco who also recognise the importance of mitigation and pre-recovery planning.
“It is important that the Wellington region plays a leading role in all aspects of mitigation and post-disaster recovery activities.
“The Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO) is accordingly developing a recovery framework that would better enable a meaningful partnership between communities, councils and central government.”
Wellington City Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says her Council is considering the development of a Wellington Disaster Recovery Bill to be ready for any contingency, drawing on the lessons arising from the experiences of Christchurch.
“It would take a particularly extreme emergency for parliament to be moved to Auckland, given the significant investment in ensuring Wellington’s resilience,” she says. “Meanwhile, we’re continuing to develop plans which focus on robust and rapid economic and community recovery.”