Civil Defence lessons in exercise Ruaumoko
Hon Rick Barker
Minister of Civil Defence
Valuable Civil Defence lessons in exercise Ruaumoko
Civil Defence Minister Rick Barker today released the final report on Exercise Ruaumoko, New Zealand’s biggest ever civil defence emergency management exercise.
While the exercise centred on a volcanic eruption in Auckland, many of the lessons learned can be applied to a large-scale event anywhere in New Zealand.
“Our aim was to practice our planning for an emergency on a national scale,” Mr Barker said.
“We involved more than 1,500 people from about 125 organisations. Involving such a wide range of people was deliberate and a very important part of the exercise.”
Mr Barker said that overall, the exercise went very well. The report makes a number of recommendations and officials are developing an action plan to implement them. A wide range of work is already underway as part of the Ministry’s ongoing programme in direct response to the exercise.
“We know that on a regional level, we have good level of capability to respond. We have seen that in recent years as we have responded locally and regionally to earthquakes, tornadoes, flooding, volcanic activity and other emergencies,” Mr Barker said.
“This was an opportunity to think more about how we respond nationally. No exercise can predict or simulate everything that would happen in this scale of emergency. These types of events will always be tough – they are big and complex situations. What this exercise offers is an opportunity to make sure we have in place the planning, arrangements and contacts that organisations will need as the foundation for a response.
“The more of these types of exercises we carry out, the more we learn and the better prepared we are,” said Mr Barker.
The months of preparation for the final exercise week have also been very valuable in enhancing understanding about roles and responsibilities across the sector and making sure those relationships across local, regional, national and international agencies are well established.
Copies of the final report about Exercise Ruaumoko can be down loaded from the Ministry’s website by clicking on the link http://www.civildefence.govt.nz/memwebsite.nsf/Files/National%20Exercise%20Programme/$file/ExRuaumoko-FINAL-REPORT-Aug08.pdf