Helping our neighbours

Wayne Allan (standing) as local controller does the shift changeover in Te Kuiti on Sunday morning.

Waipā staff came to the rescue of southern neighbours Waitomo during the Anniversary Weekend storms which pummelled the upper North Island.

Little damage was reported in Waipā district itself where the stormwater system was able to cope.

Experienced operators like Wayne Allan and Cathie Shaw joined Western Waikato Emergency Management staff in Te Kuiti where the Mangaokewa Stream burst its banks.

Wayne Allan

Allan took on the role of local controller at the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in the King Country town on Saturday afternoon and was part of the team that recommended mayor John Robertson should declare a State of Emergency because of heavy rainfall predictions.

When Robertson did, it was the first time a State of Emergency had been declared in the western Waikato area which includes Waipā, Ōtorohanga and Waitomo districts.

The EOC dealt with a significant water supply failure affecting 100 properties and a water tanker was brought in from Te Awamutu with water bottles for residents.

More Waipā staff came on the Sunday when Emergency Management operations manager Dave Simes was called back from holiday to relieve Allan as local controller.

District Plan and Growth manager Tony Quickfall and governance officer Keryn Phillips replaced other tiring EOC staff.

Robertson withdrew the emergency on Monday morning on Simes’ advice. The situation had significantly improved with lower river levels and the severe flooding had receded.

Allan is the District Growth and Regulatory group manager at Waipā and been with the council for 33 years with lengthy experience in Civil Defence. Shaw is the council’s Emergency Management coordinator and joined the council in 2001.

Dave Simes

Simes is a former police officer who joined the council in 2018 as Emergency Management operations manager.

Waipā District Council usually activates a local Emergency Operations Centre for Civil Defence emergency management at a local district response.

Waikato Regional Council administers the region’s Group Emergency Management Office and the group plan from its headquarters in Hamilton where there are four group controllers including Julian Snowball, the group manager.

There are 13 local controllers across the Waikato region, including three in western Waikato. The group and local controllers are all statutory positions appointed under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act.

See: How our mayor prepared






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