Otorohanga's plan OK for a small authority, but needs work, writes Chris Gardner.
Otorohanga's ability to recover from a Civil Defence emergency "requires attention" according to a report.
The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management is conducting capability assessments across the councils comprising the Waikato Valley Emergency Operations Area.
Otorohanga's capability assessment was conducted by Suzanne Vowles on August 7. She gave the North King Country Council a recovery score of 34 out of 100. The target is 80 or above. A score of 40 to 80 is deemed satisfactory, and below 40 requires attention.
The report, which went before the full council yesterday, gave an overall score of 64.2, which sits at the higher end of satisfactory.
Council environmental services manager Andrew Loe told councillors Otorohanga had done "pretty well".
"We were actually as high as anyone else in the group," he said. "We're quite a small authority and the chain of command is not that lengthy. Our No 1 threat is flooding and we have got a lot of information on that."
District council chief executive officer Dave Clibbery said the report had been done before the council had completed its flood management plan.
Ms Vowles said the overall score was a good outcome for the council.
"The strength of scoring revealed is reflected in the stewardship of major civil defence and emergency management roles by the chief executive officer and the environmental services manager. This allows for greater integration of civil defence and emergency management into the council's business as usual constructs. Conversely it also provides the greatest vulnerability for the council."
The council's second-lowest score was at the lower end of satisfactory, at 58.9, for ensuring all agencies had the structures and authorities to be able to reduce risks, be ready for, respond to and recover from Civil Defence emergencies.
Readiness, increasing community awareness, understanding preparedness and participation in civil defence and emergency management scored 62.1.
Response, enhancing capability to manage emergencies scored 73.1.
Reduction, reducing the risk from hazards, was the council's best score with 88.5.
Cr Sue Blacker said the biggest risk was that "all this knowledge is in two people's heads".
Mr Loe said that was a risk for small councils.
"If we lose one or two people we lose all our institutional knowledge."
Cr Deborah Pilkington hoped the assessment would be a tool to direct funding.
Mayor Dale Williams responded: "It's because you are small and you are tight you are able to do much better than other authorities."
"It's comforting to know I think our capability is as good as it can possibly be."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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