Community praises trio's efforts
Two central figures in the Awatere community are singing the praises of Marlborough District Council staff who they say have been pivotal in the response to the Grassmere earthquake on August 16.
Seddon School principal Nick Raynor and relief leader Marie Flowerday believe that the efforts of council emergency team leaders, Lyne Reeves and Dean Heiford as well as emergency services officer Gary Spence, were of great value to the community.
"We have had the opportunity to see the co-ordinated response from behind the scenes and it has been outstanding. We were so impressed with their calm professionalism during the weekend of the earthquake, it was as if they did this kind of thing regularly," Mr Raynor said.
Council took a fair amount of criticism from the community following the July 21 earthquake for its response, he said. This time there was a marked difference.
"Two weeks on from the [August 16] earthquake and many lessons [have been] learnt from the July quake. The council staff had the ability to pull everyone together from both the official and voluntary organisations," Mrs Flowerday said. "Their co-ordination was both decisive and empowering, and dozens of people worked effectively together to meet the needs of the damaged community."
This was a demanding, emotionally-charged event and they retained control of the situation throughout, she added.
Since the earthquake, Mr Heiford and Ms Reeves had continued to provide support to the Seddon and Ward communities.
Keeping the community well informed and dealing with its needs had been something that they had done particularly well, said Mr Raynor.
"Lyne has her finger on the pulse of the community's needs, involving the correct agencies at the right time and having the answers to the multitude of questions being thrown at her," he said. "They are held in high regard by members of the Awatere community. On behalf of the Seddon team that worked alongside the emergency response team, thank you for your assistance in managing the community through such a difficult and stressful time."
- © Fairfax NZ News