Lifelines are the essential infrastructure and services that support our community – utility services such as water, wastewater and stormwater, electricity, gas, telecommunications and transportation networks including road, rail, airports and ports.  

What is Lifelines Engineering?

Lifelines Engineering is a process whereby people from these organisations work together to make sure they are well prepared for an emergency.

The objectives of Lifelines Engineering are to:

  • reduce damage following a major disaster; and
  • reduce the time lifeline utilities will take to restore their usual level of service after such an event.

The Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 requires organisations managing lifelines to work together with the Civil Defence Emergency Management group in their region.

Northland Lifelines Group

Northland has a Lifelines Utility Group comprising representatives from most utilities in the transport, energy, water and communications sectors.

The group aims to co-ordinate efforts to reduce the vulnerability of Northland’s lifelines to hazard events and to make sure they can recover as quickly as possible after a disaster.

The role of the group is to:

  • encourage and support the work of all authorities and organisations, including local authorities and network operators, in identifying hazards and mitigating the effects of hazards on lifelines.
  • facilitate communication between all authorities and organisations, including local authorities and network operators, involved in mitigating the effects of hazards on lifelines, in order to increase awareness and understanding of interdependencies between organisations.
  • create and maintain awareness of the importance of lifelines, and of reducing the vulnerability of lifelines, to the various communities within the region.
  • promote ongoing research and technology transfer aimed at protecting and preserving the lifelines of the region.

The benefits of having the group include:

  • access to best practice risk and asset management concepts and procedures for utility and transportation sector lifelines;
  • access to workshops, exercises and other activities;
  • the co-ordinated development of information, concepts and procedures that would be expensive and less effective for utility organisations to develop individually;
  • forums for regular contact and interaction with counterpart utility and transportation sector agencies; and
  • enhanced ability to identify interdependence issues with other lifelines.