Rural disaster group formed

RURAL CO-ORDINATION: The new group are from left at back — Sefton Alexander, Mike McIldowie, Charlie Reynolds, Louise Bennett and Tom Teneti. Front from left David Scott, Annette Carey, Sandra Faulkner, Debbie Johnson and Wayne Ricketts.

THE impact of storms, floods and other natural disasters on Gisborne’s rural community will now be better managed with the establishment of a rural co-ordination group.

Working alongside Tairawhiti Civil Defence and Emergency Management (CDEM), the Gisborne and Wairoa Rural Co-ordination Group brings together key organisations usually involved when farming and rural communities get hit by significant adverse climatic events or natural disasters.

“Recent adverse events around New Zealand, such as the flooding in Edgecumbe in April 2017 and the November 2016 Kaikoura earthquakes have prompted rural groups to be better co-ordinated locally,” said the acting chair of the group Sandra Faulkner.

“With a few changes in rural representatives in the region in recent times — a passing of the baton — it is timely for us all to get up to speed.

“The main purpose of this group is to ensure that each of us has a clear idea of the resources available, communication lines, and the likely roles and responsibilities during an adverse event.

“The group will not be responsible for governance or management of an event; Tairawhiti CDEM has that role.”

Mrs Faulkner said while an adverse event was unfolding, essentially the response phase, the group members will relay relevant information and intelligence from rural areas to the control centre, adding to the existing Community Link networks that Tairawhiti CDEM has in place.

The Civil Defence Emergency Management group manager Louise Bennett, a member of the group, said CDEM could use the group’s networks to get information out to rural communities.

“The recovery phase of adverse events can be demanding,” she said.

“Depending upon how widespread and severe the damage is, recovery can take months, or several years, as we saw with Cyclone Bola.”

Mrs Bennett emphasises that help from group members will be very valuable in identifying for CDEM what support for recovery is needed in rural areas.

“CDEM or a designated recovery manager takes care of the bigger picture, such as roading and infrastructure repairs.

“That is while recovery on farms is supported and co-ordinated by the Gisborne and Wairoa Branch of the East Coast Rural Support Trust, based on the classification of an event’s impacts on the farming sector and geographical scale by the Ministry for Primary Industries.”

Some rural organisations in Gisborne also cover the Wairoa District so the group was keen to extend its support into Wairoa during adverse events, she said.

“From a CDEM perspective, Wairoa is supported by Hawke’s Bay.”

As acting chair, Mrs Faulkner acknowledges that this new group was a work in progress.

“We don’t have all of the rural sectors directly involved yet, and we also need to make sure that our networks provide good cover across the region.

“We will be making contact over the next few months with representatives in the forestry, horticulture and viticulture sectors in particular.”

She said other regions were also setting up rural co-ordination or advisory groups, supported by CDEM, the Ministry for Primary Industries and local Rural Support Trusts.




THE impact of storms, floods and other natural disasters on Gisborne’s rural community will now be better managed with the establishment of a rural co-ordination group.

Working alongside Tairawhiti Civil Defence and Emergency Management (CDEM), the Gisborne and Wairoa Rural Co-ordination Group brings together key organisations usually involved when farming and rural communities get hit by significant adverse climatic events or natural disasters.

“Recent adverse events around New Zealand, such as the flooding in Edgecumbe in April 2017 and the November 2016 Kaikoura earthquakes have prompted rural groups to be better co-ordinated locally,” said the acting chair of the group Sandra Faulkner.

“With a few changes in rural representatives in the region in recent times — a passing of the baton — it is timely for us all to get up to speed.

“The main purpose of this group is to ensure that each of us has a clear idea of the resources available, communication lines, and the likely roles and responsibilities during an adverse event.

“The group will not be responsible for governance or management of an event; Tairawhiti CDEM has that role.”

Mrs Faulkner said while an adverse event was unfolding, essentially the response phase, the group members will relay relevant information and intelligence from rural areas to the control centre, adding to the existing Community Link networks that Tairawhiti CDEM has in place.

The Civil Defence Emergency Management group manager Louise Bennett, a member of the group, said CDEM could use the group’s networks to get information out to rural communities.

“The recovery phase of adverse events can be demanding,” she said.

“Depending upon how widespread and severe the damage is, recovery can take months, or several years, as we saw with Cyclone Bola.”

Mrs Bennett emphasises that help from group members will be very valuable in identifying for CDEM what support for recovery is needed in rural areas.

“CDEM or a designated recovery manager takes care of the bigger picture, such as roading and infrastructure repairs.

“That is while recovery on farms is supported and co-ordinated by the Gisborne and Wairoa Branch of the East Coast Rural Support Trust, based on the classification of an event’s impacts on the farming sector and geographical scale by the Ministry for Primary Industries.”

Some rural organisations in Gisborne also cover the Wairoa District so the group was keen to extend its support into Wairoa during adverse events, she said.

“From a CDEM perspective, Wairoa is supported by Hawke’s Bay.”

As acting chair, Mrs Faulkner acknowledges that this new group was a work in progress.

“We don’t have all of the rural sectors directly involved yet, and we also need to make sure that our networks provide good cover across the region.

“We will be making contact over the next few months with representatives in the forestry, horticulture and viticulture sectors in particular.”

She said other regions were also setting up rural co-ordination or advisory groups, supported by CDEM, the Ministry for Primary Industries and local Rural Support Trusts.




The Tairawhiti group, currently chaired by Ministry for Primary Industries Policy Agent for Gisborne, Sandra Faulkner, includes Mike McIldowie — East Coast Rural Support Trust Trustee, David Scott — Co-ordinator, East Coast Rural Support Trust, Gisborne and Wairoa, Norm Thomas — Beef and Lamb NZ Farmer Council, Charlie Reynolds — Provincial President, Gisborne-Wairoa Federated Farmers, Sefton Alexander — Wairoa Chair, Federated Farmers, Louise Bennett — Tairawhiti CDEM Group Manager, Sandra Matthews, chair — Farming Women Tairawhiti, Annette Carey — Senior Policy Analyst, Ministry for Primary Industries (Hawke’s Bay) and Tom Teneti — Animal Welfare Officer Tairawhiti/Wairoa, Ministry for Primary Industries.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    ​Do you support nurses in their rejection of pay and working condition offers, and their plan to strike twice next month?