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Meet our new Thames-Coromandel Emergency Management Unit

16 July 2019

This month marked a significant change in the structure of our district’s emergency management with the establishment of our own in-house Council Emergency Management Unit.


Photo: (left to right) The Thames-Coromandel Emergency Management Unit team - Emergency Management Officers Helen Flynn, Pamela Balt and Civil Defence Controller - Garry Towler.

This unit is now responsible for all Council-related emergency, risk, and incident management (like storm and flooding events), as well as now including our district's Civil Defence preparedness and response capability.

The change to an in-house service is a result of reviews over the past four years of the Thames Valley Emergency Operation Area function (which covered our Council, Hauraki District Council and Matamata-Piako District Council).

“For the past 30 years this arrangement of combined support in the event of an emergency functioned extremely well,” says our Civil Defence Controller, Garry Towler. “However, during the last seven years more and more responsibility for the internal requirements has fallen on individual councils to manage - such as business continuity, community response, education, overall risk and incident management together with the response to Civil Defence emergencies.”

These responsibilities have now all been combined into one Emergency Management Unit which is well resourced. “Although we are now operating alone, should an event occur our neighbouring councils will still support each another,” says Mr Towler.

The aim of the Thames-Coromandel District Council Emergency Management Unit is to ensure the safety of people, property and the environment. We do this by identifying significant hazards in the community, determining community vulnerability to these hazards, and building community resilience to recover from significant events. Civil Defence is councils working together with Emergency Services and the community to mobilise the full resources of all to cope with disasters.

To find out more about hazards in our district, how to stay informed and be prepared see