Trip con­firms mayor’s CD con­fi­dence

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page -

Mata­mata-Pi­ako District mayor Hugh Ver­coe paid a visit to Christchurch last week, as chair­man of the Waikato Civil De­fence Emer­gency Man­age­ment Group, along with three oth­ers from the group.

Their pur­pose was to visit the Na­tional Emer­gency Op­er­at­ing Cen­tre where civil de­fence are op­er­at­ing from and the main wel­fare cen­tre at Pi­o­neer Re­cre­ation and Sport Cen­tre.

Na­tional Con­troller of Civil De­fence John Hamil­ton took the group on a de­tailed tour of the emer­gency cen­tre to ex­plain op­er­a­tions and civil de­fence roles. Staff based at the cen­tre com­prised Christchurch City Coun­cil work­ers, Red Cross, wel­fare work­ers, po­lice and army.

From the cen­tre the group went on to visit the main wel­fare cen­tre which had only 70 peo­ple sleep­ing there but catered for 1700 the day the group vis­ited.

These are the peo­ple who have no power and are un­able to cook in their homes fol­low­ing the earth­quake.

Mr Ver­coe also met with Christchurch mayor Bob Parker and Christchurch City Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Tony Mar­ry­att.

‘‘From a coun­cil per­spec­tive the sit­u­a­tion in Christchurch in­volves a huge amount of co-or­di­na­tion and co-op­er­a­tion. Tony Mar­ry­att has his staff to man­age, as well as deal­ing with the mam­moth task of re­pair­ing the in­fra­struc­ture, while mayor Bob Parker is con­stantly re­lay­ing im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion to res­i­dents, me­dia and the nation,’’ Mr Ver­coe said.

The visit of­fered the group the op­por­tu­nity to see civil de­fence in ac­tion and to learn from its sys­tems.

In com­par­i­son

to

the

civil de­fence sys­tems we have in our district, Mr Ver­coe be­lieves we would be well pre­pared in an emer­gency.

‘‘ The Thames Val­ley Civil De­fence model is well de­signed to op­er­ate ef­fec­tively in a civil de­fence emer­gency. It has great struc­ture and ac­cess to many ser­vices com­bined be­tween Mata­mata-Pi­ako, Hau­raki and Thames Coro­man­del. There are three full-time civil de­fence staff in our area and any staff who would be in­volved in a civil de­fence op­er­a­tion are well trained and pre­pared,’’ he said.

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