Presentations and discussion on emergency preparedness in Paekakariki – and current plans to contribute to Emergency Response Plan

Presentations and discussion 6 December about emergency preparedness in Paekakariki – and outline of current plans to contribute to our community Emergency Response Plan





Notes taken by: Mark Amery

Facilitator: Liana Stupples (LS)

Karakia: Raima Kingi

Welcome: Janet Holborow, District Councillor, Deputy Mayor

Thanks to organiser Vanessa Crowe. Thanks to community board members here. Thanks to Scott Dray WREMO. Special welcome to Carol Reihana. Thanks to Flo McNeil for helping.


Vanessa Crowe (KCDC, local resident) hands out sheet to get involved.

CRP Review: is community response plan review

‘Are You Okay’ plan (AYOK) is about how we look after each other.

Introduction purpose: Liana Stupples

We are here to find out how we can look after each other more – this is what we want to reignite in the village. Because we know it has happened in the past.

Burning questions go into Liana’s basket. And if they’re not answered tonight a group will make sure they’re answered.

We’re making a plan – if you want to be more involved there’s a signup sheet.


Who is here? Exercise

Everyone is asked to meet someone they don’t know.

Liana: Resource people here: We have Joshu Mountjoy Marine Geologist from NIWA, Vanessa from council, Paul Furfie and others from the fire brigade, Julia Bevin principal from school


  1. Presentation

Scott Dray (SD) Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO)

First step to community preparedness is knowing each other so you can share skills and resources in a disaster.

You have an old school Community Response Plan – it doesn’t show how to set up a ‘hub’ – they used to be called Civil Defence centres. There’s a new hub guide coming.

We moved old centre to school because St Peters Hall a Tsunami risk. School will have additional emergency water supply here.

In emergency significant relief agencies may be overwhelmed. In Wellington region we may struggle to get access to some communities – a y shaped transport corridor makes it difficult. We saw this in the recent floods that areas can get cut off. Also power, water and gas lines run over fault lines.

Main agency relief is going to go to Wellington city and Hutt. Whereas Paekakariki will have a few more choices in terms of community resilience.

“You need to actually activate this hub without me being here.”

Tonight we have 2-3 WREMO trained CD volunteers here – we need more CD volunteers. They will run the hub. They need support.


Preparedness begins at home – can’t stress enough. You will recover faster if you can stay in your own home environment

We can survive at home if we take some basic steps – there’s a guide online at WREMO website.

If you do one thing: have an emergency water supply. Don’t use milk bottles (always milk residue issues). Coke or juice bottles will be fine. Tap water is fine. Stored in a dark place fine for 18 months.

Or you can invest in a water tank. KCDC offering a tank that is good for a family of 4 for over 16 days.

Food stocks: build up reserves in your pantry (doesn’t need to be stashed away). Don’t need to ‘go to town’. Circulate food you like in your pantry to ensure its there.

Support your school with food: schools have an onus to feed children for a meaningful period of time.

And parents: ensure they have a decent list of caregivers, preferably someone in close proximity to the school.

Medications – your responsibility to have 7 plus days of surplus medications on hand.

Have a plan – that involves a discussion with your family about where you will meet up if you need to meet up and are split up. Will reduce anxiety levels.

A message on your phone – a voice message on your phone saying you are OK will save mobile network and if battery dead later will help anxiety later.

Drill – drop/cover/hold – to protect our heads. Get low before getting knocked down. We need to see our parents actively doing it. We see our kids doing it but we need to do it!



We have no tsunami siren system in this district. We used to. But the problem is it causes complacency. Tests in the past showed many people couldn’t hear them. In Japan in recent tsunami where they had one people waited for the siren to go off and got caught in the waves.

We could have a wave arrive here within 10 minutes (thought see note below) through the Cook Strait – that’s not enough time for us to assess that a tsunami is coming and set off a siren.  “In that last earthquake I would have gone for higher ground”. There is a Tsunami evacuation point in Paekakariki – it is the school.

(Josh Mountjoy: “Scott you’re wrong re 10 minutes – it will be a much smaller wave. And in terms of time it takes to get here it won’t be shorter than a 30 minute travel time from hitting Wellington.

Subduction Zone that includes Japan and NZ – it’s on the east coast if it’s a big one. The tsunami zone maps put out by council are conservative. Allowing for the largest end of tsunami.”)*

*Post-meeting: We are hoping to get more verification on this difference.

No one is going to come and get you. It’s up to you to take initiative. If in doubt go.

Standing on a hillside – don’t worry about looking like a fool.


  1. Breakout into smaller groups – what are the questions left unanswered for you?


Main burning questions from groups shared. For panel. We might not have the answers.

  1. The school is locked after hours. The gates are locked. How do we access our civil defence centre?

SD: We’ve put a lot of thought into this. We have a lock box on the dental clinic – your initial hub point. Our volunteers have the code and we need additional people to know the code.

Principal is here not to look after the hub – she looks after the kids.

You can just walk in the pedestrian entry – it’s not locked.

All volunteers are police vetted.


2. If we are cut off what are our medical resources and people?

Kerren Hedlund (KH): first recourse is the fire brigade. The old CRP reviewed this  but out of date. Certified lifeguards.

We are putting a contact list together – Flo will talk about.


3. Is there a standard thing you can do as a ‘safe signal’ that you’re OK in your house?

SD: Not that I’m aware of. You could discuss at a street level. Work with your neighbours. (Urban search and rescue put a cross on the door or something to say cleared. Could be a blanket out the window. )

Vanessa will talk of Are You OK Plan (AYOK)


4. Drill – is there a recommendation of what to shelter under? And how far should you move? Where is safest place to shelter?

SD: 7 plus earthquake you won’t have options. Couple of steps away from a window or façade of a house. Prefer you to get under a table or a bed. Better than nothing. But there is no preferential thing to get under. Here: I’d do in the centre of the hall.

Don’t immediately go outside – the most dangerous place is immediately outside with material off the façade and windows. Doorways are not particularly better – they will go backwards and forwards.

Triangle of life – forget it.

Paul Hughes: Learning in city is that stairwells are dangerous in a quake don’t just run down them. Be careful on egresses in Wellington.


5. What would be the best way to communicate in the village?

Vanessa Crowe (VC): this is up for discussion. We are starting with how we connect streets in reasonable sized groups and then report to the hub. And we have idea to gather resources. Flo has a signup sheet re information they have to help. Noticeboards will be an important way to communicate with each other. Communicating with your neighbours will be important.

Bridget Pidford: There could be 100s of people we don’t know in the village – visitors. We need to factor them in.

Family commuting to other places. Remember to have a plan. Will you try to get back to Paekakariki? Will you have food reserves with you etc.


6. How do we know that this is an earthquake we evacuate from?

SD: Long or strong is general rule. If you struggle to stand up in it or goes on for longer than a minute. It’s your judgement. Make it a foot evacuation. In Ames Street you can’t get to school in 10 minutes – which high point do you go to?

Trish: How many people here thought they should have evacuated in the last quake?


7. Lindy: No one on 14 November in our group felt they were having difficulty standing up. For those who turned radio on the information was quite soon that earthquake was on east coast. So our assumption was that it would be not an issue for us. Josh given all this information should we have up sticks?

Josh (JM): That earthquake was easily the biggest I’ve felt. I’m in Paneta Street. Duration is important it was really long. If it had been underneath us it would have thrown you out of bed. A longwave earthquake. Tsunami – does have to come through the Cook Strait.

Scott you’re wrong re 10 minutes – it will be a much smaller wave. And in terms of time it takes to get here it won’t be shorter than a 30 minute travel time from htting Wellington.

Subduction Zone that includes Japan and NZ – it’s on the east coast if it’s a big one. The tsunami zone maps put out by council are conservative. Allowing for the largest end of tsunami.

Liana: this is a burning question. More information needed.


8. Carol Reihana: How do we help our elderly who may not have whanau or be mobile – will there be a register who have needs etc.?

Liana: Should we have one? Yes, says the room.


9. Should people in high risk tsunami zone go stay with people in low risk tsunami zone rather than come to the hub?

SD: yes


10. Who makes the decisions who will look after the people who don’t have food/water/place to sleep (needs)?

SD: New Hub guide provides for a hub supervisor. Doesn’t have to be member of community board. Any one of you could be that supervisor. And work collaboratively with everyone. We’ve gone away from prescribing the person because they might not be here.


11. What are other designated safe areas than school – surely other areas in a hurry could be designated?

Paul Hughes: Yes thinking along those lines. Top of Sandtrack. End of Ames Street.


How are we going to update our CRP (Community Response Plan)? The Working group Introduces

Kerren Hedland

Been here since February. Have been working in community capacity to help in emergencies around the world so wanted to help in my new home.

We looked at the existing CRP from a few years ago. My self-appointed job is to gather all the knowledge from last time (radio interviews/writing and talking to the people) and look at what the resources in people are still here.

  1. A priority activity is to update our contact list – doctors, first aiders, chainsaws, who can operate handheld radios etc.


Flo McNeill

Sign-up sheet – so if things break down we know which doors to knock on. Key people with key resources and skills useful. The things useful to share.

See Flo to share this information.

Skills could be facilitator/cooking for 100 people/a crèche/a psychologist/who has the pots?!

We don’t need 600 entries we need to be able to quickly identify things.


Kerren Hedland

  1. Then we want to run through the hub scenario. Someone might want to get in contact with someone/need clothes etc. We want to ensure we are tops on information sharing.


  1. Then: our Tsunami evacuation plan. “I am going to go over the Sand Track and then to a friends house up near the school.” Lindy “We’re going to Colleens”

Are you watching out for someone else?

There will be Christmas drinks for the red and orange zones to talk about our plans. That’s our effort along The Parade


  1. Then we want to ensure we know that’s happening across the village. Vanessa:


Vanessa Crowe – Are You OK Plan

As SD says: try and stay in your own home unless in evacuation zone. Best thing is to get to know your neighbours and what resources you have to share. Know who will be in your group. Know your street.

How do we tell each other we’re OK? Depends on the culture of your street. You need to get together and have a discussion about it.

We have an idea we are trialling: we want to map Paekakariki in terms of streets.  And know a street region representative will report to the hub and quickly find out who isn’t accounted for.

VC for example will be a representative for her area on Clarkes Cres. FM will be her’s for the dog end northern end of Tilley Road.

Flo McNeill – we want volunteers to come forward and identify their group of houses. In our area we have a ‘bring a chair come out onto the street’ party at Christmas.

Vanessa offering people to come and map out their street area/neighbourhood group that they’re willing to begin the process to look after that group.


Behind the scenes of updating the response plan – you can join them: Kerren Hedland, Paul Hughes, Sam Buchanan, Steve Eckett, Janet Holborrow, Tina Pope, Judith Lofley, Flo McNeill and Vanessa Crowe.

They are keen to set a target to get plan done. If you want to join that seriously consider it.


What is Fire Brigade role in emergency?

Paul Furfee: ultimately we are an emergency service and there if life is in peril. But you call 111. If it’s jammed up we could send a runner. We will be stretched thin. We may or may not have a crew because we go over the region to help.

15 staff at moment in the village if we’re all in the village.

Our first priority is to our own families. All our staff have emergency plans in place. We would then collect our resources for an emergency and deploy as required. We don’t need people potentially turning up to fire station. Ash Richardson former chief put a lot of time into a plan that still stands.


What else would you like to see put in place for an emergency?

In groups – gather pieces of paper and have a quick buzz of ideas for the ERP. These are put into Liana’s basket.

e.g. Bikes are going to be invaluable (who has key to bike library)