A big step forward for the Wellington Region’s emergency management response

Between the 14 and 28 November, over 400 council staff from across the Wellington Region took part in a series of 13 table-top exercises which used a scenario of a large earthquake to test emergency response procedures. The exercises coincided with the second anniversary of the Kaikoura Earthquake.  

Organised by the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO), ‘Exercise Ngateri’ provided an opportunity for council staff with roles in the regional Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) and local Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) to practise their initial emergency response to a major earthquake and use the recently completed Wellington Region Earthquake Plan (WREP) to inform their actions.    

David Russell, Group Controller for the Wellington Civil Defence and Emergency Management (CDEM) Group, said: “Following work throughout 2018 to encourage increased participation in training, I am pleased to say we saw a significant increase from last year in the number of participants from local councils taking part our November exercises – from 245 to over 400.   

“Our main objectives for the exercise were for our ECC/EOC staff to understand some of the assumptions we make when planning for a regional and local earthquake response, as well as developing a better understanding of how their role contributes to the coordination of the emergency response. The training was designed to create situations that would be likely to follow a major earthquake in the region and to prompt participants to refer to the WREP to provide a cohesive operational response.”   

“We achieved the objectives for the exercises and gained some key learnings, including identifying the knowledge and skills that need developing - which will help us to refine our 2019 training programme.”  

Published: 14 December 2018