We work hard to build on our abilities, and the abilities of emergency services, lifelines utilities and partner agencies to prepare for and manage civil defence emergencies.
Civil Defence works with a wide range of networks, agencies and organsiations to better understand hazard risk, reduce or eliminate this risk, then prepare ourselves and work with our communities and partner agencies to respond and recover from the impacts that disaster events can have.
There are three tiers of Civil Defence. Local governments play a vital role, working on the ground with communities to prepare, respond and recover from disasters. At a regional level in Canterbury, nine Territorial Authorities and Environment Canterbury have come together with other key partner agencies to form the Canterbury CDEM Group.
There are 16 CDEM Groups across New Zealand. An overview of all CDEM Groups across the country can be found here. At a national level, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), provides leadership and policy direction to create an emergency management system that reduces the impact of emergencies.
The below diagram provides an example of how a Civil Defence response can be structured during an emergency event.
The Canterbury CDEM Group is a partnership of local authorities, emergency services and other organisations tasked with ensuring the effective delivery of civil defence emergency management across the region. We cover the largest geographical area of all CDEM Groups and while Canterbury is one of the country’s most beautiful regions, we also have to deal with a wide range of significant hazards and risks.
Day to day we focus on enhancing resilient communities. Our vision for a resilient Canterbury is one where communities work to reduce their risks, increase their readiness, and are prepared to respond to, and recover from, any emergency. We do not do this to communities, or on behalf of communities, but rather we work with communities through a process that is always adapting and ongoing.
The overarching vision of the Canterbury CDEM Group is for, “A resilient Canterbury – Waitaha Tūkaha.”
To provide a coordinated and integrated approach to the way significant risks and hazards are managed in the Canterbury region across the 4 R’s:
The local authority members of the Canterbury CDEM Group are:
We work with a wide range of stakeholders and networks. Our partners agencies include:
Head to our Governance, strategies and plans page for an overview of which organisations are part of our Coordinating Executive Group.
The Canterbury CDEM Group Emergency Management Office (GEMO) works to coordinate and facilitate the day-to-day planning and project work on behalf of the Canterbury CDEM Group. The GEMO is located in the Emergency Services Building of the Justice and Emergency Services Precinct in Christchurch. The GEMO is administered by Environment Canterbury.
During an emergency response, the Canterbury CDEM Group Office will often activate a Emergency Coordination Centre to manage the response at a regional level. The focus of the Emergency Coordination Centre is often to provide assistance to impacted Canterbury Districts, assist with the provision of welfare support for those impacted and liaise with stakeholders, emergency services and central government agencies.
The Canterbury Group Office consists of the following positions (as of early 2023):
Relationships and networks are absolutely vital for preparing, responding and recovering from a disaster. A key function of The Canterbury CDEM Group Office is to facilitate strong relationships and networks between organisations that may be involved in an emergency response. Below are some of the sub-committees and networks facilitated by the Group Office. These networks ensure that agencies, stakeholders and organisations with a wide range of foci from around Canterbury maintain strong relationships and a high degree of trust.
The Canterbury Welfare Coordination Group (WCG) is made up of agencies with a focus on welfare during an emergency. Its purpose is to provide strategic advice and assistance to the Coordinating Executive Group, and to establish procedures for the effective delivery of welfare services during an emergency.
The Canterbury Response Planning Group (RPG) is comprised of agencies with a response role in an emergency. Its purpose is to provide advice to the Coordinating Executive Group on maintaining an effective multi-agency response capability in the Canterbury region. Some of the agencies involved in the RPG include New Zealand Police, St John, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Te Whata Ora Waitaha and Te Mana Ora.
The purpose of the Lifeline Utilities Group is to assist the Canterbury region in reducing its infrastructure vulnerability, improving resilience and encouraging utilities to participate in Canterbury CDEM Group activities. Examples of lifeline utilities include electricity power generators, electricity powerlines networks, road, rail and shipping infrastructure or internet and telephone communication networks. The Canterbury Lifeline Utilities Group is a non-statutory organisation comprising territorial authorities and commercial utilities operating in the Canterbury region, research organisations and emergency services.
The Canterbury Rural Advisory Group (RAG) leads the cluster of agencies in the primary industries, working alongside the Canterbury CDEM Group, to prepare for and respond to adverse events within the Canterbury region. The scope includes human welfare, production animal welfare, and primary industry business resilience and recovery. The aim is to ensure that the rural response is well coordinated, with good information flows with Canterbury CDEM, so that specific rural needs can be identified and met in a timely way, with a view to getting primary industries back up and running following an event.
RAG membership is comprised of the Canterbury Rural Support Trusts, Ministry for Primary Industries, Canterbury CDEM Group, and 1-2 members of each sector sub-set up to a maximum of 15 individuals in total. It includes the following sector sub-sets: community, government, dairy, drystock, horticulture, rural professionals, and any other suitable groups as determined by the group.
The Emergency Management Training Centre (EMTC) is a private training establishment registered with and audited by the New Zealand Qualification Authority since 2000. EMTC provides training to local councils, government departments, private companies and the general public.