Marae offered expertise to develop preparedness plans

27 Apr 2016

Marae throughout Northland are being offered input and partnership from the Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group to develop their own ‘marae preparedness plans’.

Alastair Wells of the Northland CDEM Group says the plans enhance the resilience of marae, by working through a process of identifying hazards that could affect them, the resources at hand to look after people and the vulnerable people in the community. Links are then developed with the emergency agencies that would assist when required.

“We know that marae are already resilient – they have a key role in unexpected events and are a focal point for their whanau,” says Mr Wells.

“Marae preparedness plans are a way of enhancing the resilience that they already have.”

The Northland CDEM Group has been working with Northland communities to build resilience for about 10 years but Mr Wells says Maori communities have been under-represented. This project is an opportunity to work more closely with marae to link those communities with sources of assistance in times of need.

Mr Wells is available to work with individual marae, or small groups of marae which are in close proximity, or alternatively to assist marae to work with their wider communities to develop more comprehensive community response plans.

There is no cost for his involvement.

Mr Wells added that the onset of winter with its accompanying storms was a reminder of the importance of preparing in advance.

In addition, in the middle of this year, Northland Regional Council will also be releasing updated coastal flood hazard maps, showing storm surge/flood areas around the region – information that is likely to be relevant to marae as well as other community groups and stakeholders. These maps will be made available through district councils.

Marae trustees with an interest in learning more about marae preparedness plans should contact Mr Wells at aj.wells@xtra.co.nz

Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group logo.