Civil Defence - Who are we and what do we do?

Civil Defence is not one thing. It is communities, organisations and government working together to get ready and get through an emergency. We are all Civil Defence.

What is Civil Defence?

Civil Defence professionals are here to coordinate the emergency services, welfare service agencies, utility companies and the community during an emergency.

Local Emergencies

Local authorities are responsible for civil defence emergency management (CDEM) in their area. Our Council is part of the Thames Valley Emergency Operating Area, which comprises of three districts:

  • Thames-Coromandel District Council
  • Matamata-Piako District Council
  • Hauraki District Council

The three Councils work together in the area of emergency management and share resources and costs. The Councils also partner with other agencies to deliver emergency management.

These agencies comprise of the following:

  • Emergency Services (police, fire, ambulance etc.)
  • Government Agencies (Ministry of Health, Ministry Social Development etc.)
  • Lifeline Utilities (water, power, roads, telecommunications etc.)
  • Welfare organisation (Redcross etc.)
  • Non-government Agencies (community organisations etc.)
  • Media

Regional Emergencies

When an emergency affects more than one area, a large earthquake for instance, a regional state of emergency may be declared. Response to regional emergencies are lead by the CDEM Group. There are 16 CDEM Groups in NZ, Thames-Coromandel is part of the Waikato Civil Defence Emergency Management Group.

The Waikato CDEM Group boundary is based largely on Waikato Regional Council's boundary, the local authorities in this group are:

  • Waikato Regional Council
  • Hamilton City Council
  • Hauraki District Council
  • Matamata-Piako District Council
  • Otorohanga District Council
  • South Waikato District Council
  • Taupo District Council
  • Thames-Coromandel District Council
  • Waipa District Council
  • Waikato District Council
  • Waitomo District Council

The Group leads the regional response and recovery functions in a regional emergency event. They also support the coordination and management of local emergency events.

Follow the link to the Waikato Region Civil Defence Emergency Management Group website.

National Emergencies

The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM) is responsible for leading central governments response and recovery functions in a national emergency.

MCDEM is also responsible for administering the Civil Defence and Emergency Management (CDEM) Act 2002. They provide guidence, national coordination, the facilitation and promotion of various key activities across the 4Rs of reduction, readiness, response and recovery to achieve the purpose of the CDEM Act 2002.

For more information on the roles and responsibilities of MCDEM and other agencies across the CDEM framework, follow the link.