Northern councils continue to work together for their communities

15 May 2020

A new Northern Emergency Operating Centre has been set up this week to provide a combined civil defence response as the country moves into Alert Level 2.

The new Combined Emergency Operating Centre is made up of staff from Waikato District Council, Hamilton City Council, Thames Coromandel District Council, Hauraki District Council and Matamata-Piako District Council and is based in Hamilton.

Staff from all five councils will continue to provide assistance to their local communities, but have also come together in a civil defence capacity to get the job done as we continue to battle COVID-19.

A number of Emergency Operating Centre’s (EOC) were established across the Waikato on the first day of Level 4 lockdown on Thursday 26 March and have been operating seven days a week dealing with the non-health related responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and in support of the Ministry of Health.

Staff from each council have been seconded into their civil defence roles in order to operate the centres and a number have now joined the Northern Emergency Operating Centre which covers the north of the Waikato region.

Northern Emergency Operating Centre Controller Kelvin Powell says everyone has been working hard to ensure the vulnerable members in our communities are cared for in the best possible way while supporting the Waikato District Health Board’s response to COVID-19.

“The health and safety of our communities has always been paramount and our staff have been dedicated to ensuring support is provided in the safest possible way.”

Mr Powell says while things may be centralised now, the reason the councils continue to support the civil defence response remains the same – to support their communities.

“Operating an EOC for an extended period of time like we have has been a huge undertaking. A lot of the work we have done has gone under the radar so my thanks go to those staff who have turned up each shift, leaving the safety of their bubbles, and have tirelessly given it their all to support our purpose.”

“There is still much more work to be done. We remain here for our communities.”

If you need assistance, you can continue to phone the Waikato Welfare Call Centre on 0800 800 405. This helpline is open 9am-5pm, seven days a week.

ENDS

For more information please contact:
Teresa Hancock
Senior Communications & Engagement Advisor
Waikato District Council
027 706 5776
communications@waidc.govt.nz