Home / Minister Mitchell praises Canterbury’s civil defence leadership

Minister Mitchell praises Canterbury’s civil defence leadership

Members of the Canterbury Mayoral Forum met with Hon Mark Mitchell (Minister of Police, Minister of Corrections and Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery) in Christchurch on 13 June.

Minister Mitchell praises Canterbury’s civil defence leadership
(L-R) Mayor Marie Black (Hurunui), Mayor Nigel Bowen (Timaru), Mayor Phil Mauger (Christchurch), Acting Chair Craig Pauling, Canterbury Regional Council), Mayor Dan Gordon (Waimakariri), Mayor Neil Brown (Ashburton), Councillor John Sunckell (Canterbury Regional Council), Hon Mark Mitchell, Minister of Police, Minister of Corrections, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery), Mayor Gary Kircher (Waitaki)

The meeting focused on Emergency Management and Recovery, with the Minister making special mention of the leadership in Canterbury shown through recent States of Emergency following the Port Hills Fire.

The impact and human cost to civil defence personnel were noted and how critical it is that the system support them.

The Minister advised Forum members that he is focused on two things in particular in the Emergency Management space:

  • world class emergency management legislation
  • common operating systems and processes throughout the country, building on the South Island system.

Forum members noted that they have significant emergency management and recovery experience in Canterbury and want to see this local skill and experience accessed to help shape the new legislation, which the Minister was supportive of, noting that the drafting of the new legislation was an opportunity for local leadership.

Forum members thanked the Minister for the Government’s funding towards “Beyond the Deluge”, but noted that there is still significant work to do in this space to protect communities and infrastructure from severe weather events. The issue of ‘mitigation’ or ‘managed retreat’ was discussed, and Hurunui Council provided examples of work that they are doing with proactive coastal plans and proactive relocation away from sea inundation, noting that this work has won both national and international awards.

The Minister thanked the Forum members for meeting with him and advised that he would appreciate the opportunity to meet on a more regular basis.

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