Team to support emergency responses up and running

Civil Defence Minister Hon Peeni Henare today announced that the Emergency Management Assistance Team has been established and is ready to be deployed to provide support in an emergency response.

The Emergency Management Assistance Team – previously referred to as the Fly In Team – was announced last year by the Government as part of the Emergency Management System Reform, a package of improvements to New Zealand’s emergency management system.

Minister Henare today met with inaugural members of the team at the Beehive to present them with certificates of appointment.

“The government is committed to putting the safety and wellbeing of people at the heart of the emergency management system. The Emergency Management Assistance Team is a vital new capability that will help ensure that New Zealanders receive a consistent level of support in any emergency, wherever and whenever it happens. Getting the team up and running is a huge milestone that will bolster our ability to respond to emergencies,” Peeni Henare said.

“The Emergency Management Assistance Team provides a national cadre of specially trained emergency managers who can go wherever needed to assist and support local teams to manage emergencies across all hazards and risks.

“These roles demand a huge amount of skill, dedication and mana, and it was a real privilege today to meet and welcome the inaugural team members.

“The Emergency Management Assistance Team members have significant experience in crisis response and emergency management in a range of settings in New Zealand and overseas, as well as specialist skills in Public Information Management, Strategic Communications and community engagement.

Mr Henare says getting the teams established in less than 12 months has been a significant achievement, and involved extensive preparation, procurement of equipment, screening and appointment of suitable candidates, and rigorous training.

EMAT members completed an intensive residential 12 day training course including a simulated disaster which was delivered with staff support from the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, New Zealand Defence Force, Te Puni Kōkiri, and the Ministry of Health. A second round of recruitment is now underway to enable further team appointments and training in early 2020.

The EMAT members are:

  •   •  Anthony Edwards, Whanganui District Council

  •   •  (Dr) Chip Gresham, Counties Manukau DHB / New Zealand Medical Assistance Team

  •   •  Claire Brown, West Coast Civil Defence Emergency Management Group

  •   •  Daniel Neely, Wellington Region Emergency Management Office

  •   •  Doug Third, St John

  •   •  Drew Coleman, Department of Conservation

  •   •  Mark Crowe, West Coast Civil Defence Emergency Management Group

  •   •  Mark Deoki, St John

  •   •  Michele Poole, Emergency Management Otago

  •   •  Mike Gillooly, Christchurch City Council

  •   •  Ross Pringle, Christchurch City Council

  •   •  Veronica Gibson, Ministry of Social Development

  •   •  Shaneen Simpson-Almond, Te Puni Kōkiri

  •   •  Shona Morgan, Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group

  •   •  Nick Pyatt, Fire and Emergency New Zealand

The EMAT cadre is managed by Charlie Blanch, Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (seconded from the Ministry of Health).

The Emergency Management Assistance Team has been established by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management, and made possible by $5.2m of additional funding. The initiative is part of the Emergency Management System Reform, a range of initiatives aimed at improving the emergency management system. These include the creation of a new National Emergency Management Agency.

More information about the Emergency Management Assistance Team is available at https://www.civildefence.govt.nz/new-zealand-emergency-management-assistance-team/ .

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