Trip confirms mayor’s CD confidence
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.
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.