News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Natural disasters focus of major international conference

Natural disasters the focus of a major international conference in Wellington

Almost 900 people from Australasian and Pacific fire and emergency services will meet in Wellington next week to discuss the latest in disaster-related research and experience.

The annual AFAC (Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council) and Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre conference is held in New Zealand once every eight years.

The theme for this year’s conference is After Disaster Strikes – Learning from Adversity.

There is no shortage of disasters to learn from. Last summer, Australia experienced some of its most extreme heat waves. New Zealand is still coping with the devastating Canterbury earthquakes, while several Pacific neighbours are still recovering from cyclones and tsunami.

The New Zealand Fire Service Chief Executive & National Commander Paul Baxter says “Climate change poses a growing challenge for fire and emergency services. Extreme weather events have become more frequent over the past 50 years and are predicted to become even more extreme.

“Over the past 20 years, our own response figures show increasing demand for our services at wind, rain and flood events.”

How well fire, rescue and emergency services are able to respond to extreme heat waves, floods and wind storms will depend on how prepared they, and wider society, are to mitigate loss, respond to disaster and help with the recovery.

“Communities need to develop resilience and self-help strategies.

“The Fire Service is putting increased emphasis on developing leadership and excellence in incident management. Over the next few years, all executive officers and frontline officers will be taken through enhanced incident command and leadership courses, and many of our senior staff will be exposed to international incident experience and training.

“We are working more closely with emergency service partners to ensure our combined multi-agency response to disaster is integrated and well-practiced.

“By 2020, we want to be in a position where our response and risk management are consistent across the country, and that we have the ability to adapt to changing demands and circumstances.”

The AFAC conference is a vital element in the preparation of fire and emergency services for the future, he said.

Note: The conference is being held at Shed 6 and TSB Arena, 2-5 September. Details of the programme are here


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Review - A Girl Named Mo

Moana Ete brought her three-piece band A Girl Named Mo to Wellington's intimate and iconic Bats Theatre last week for a five-night residency. Each show was recorded and filmed live for the release of her debut album 'Platonic/Romantic' on Loop records later this year. More>>

For The Birds: Who Will Be Crowned Bird Of The Year?

The competition involves well-known and enthusiastic New Zealanders acting as ‘campaign managers’ for their favourite birds with many going to great lengths to get New Zealanders to vote for their chosen bird... More>>


  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter
  • Gordon Campbell: On Bob Dylan's Nobel (And The Surplus)

    So Bob Dylan has just won the Nobel Prize for… Literature? Wow. I’d be just as happy if he’d won for his work on particle physics (“One Grain of Sand”, “Simple Twist of Fate”) or got the Economics prize for his work on the theory of contracting (“Don’t Think Twice Its Alright”) ... More>>


    Scoop Review Of Books: Whose Goat Was That?

    Mysterious Mysteries of Aro Valley is a sharp, satirical and sometimes downright scary romp through and around that valley in ways that made me question the realities of the places I thought I knew so well. More>>


    NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

    Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>


    Mars News: Winners Announced For The 2016 Apra Silver Scroll Awards

    Wellington singer-songwriter and internationally acclaimed musician Thomas Oliver has won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award with his captivating love song ‘If I Move To Mars’. More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news