Answers on the state of community emergency response groups come up short at Auckland Council meeting.
At the Civil Defence and Emergency Management Committee on August 30, Cr John Watson asked about the state of community groups.
Watson, who has served in Rodney for nine years said the area previously had groups that were active in the emergency management space but was unsure about the state of the groups anymore.
“Legacy councils had been quite active in civil defence. I am curious to know to what extent those groups still exist in Auckland,” Watson said.
“Are those kinds of people still around… We had this unusual situation with the pandemic the last three years where there has been this disconnect.”
Watson wanted to know how Auckland’s Emergency Management team engaged with the groups.
Auckland Emergency general manager Paul Amaral said he was aware of the groups, particularly in Rodney but with the large size and population of Auckland, engagement across the city needed to be prioritised.
“There are still a lot of groups that exist. There are a few through time and Covid that have fallen away. There are some that are trying to reset,” Amaral said.
Amaral said his team's role was to support community organisations in the work they were doing but not take the lead.
Areas that needed to be prioritised in particular were ones that had “one way in and one way out,” he said.
Cr Wayne Walker asked for a summary of what exists now in communities and looked back to his 10 years as a Rodney councillor.
“There was a civil defence network. Once a year at least there was an award ceremony and that included people in the volunteer fire service,” Walker said.
“We had facilities for communicating in the event of an emergency… I would like to have in writing what exists now.”
Amaral told Walker that he did not have that information available and would need to come back to him.