45 years of civil defence emergency management service recognised

Civil Defence Minister Hon Peeni Henare has recognised the long service of Chatham Islands Council Chief Executive Owen Pickles during a visit to the Chatham Islands today.

Minister Henare presented a Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Long Service Award to Mr Pickles for 45 years of active service in New Zealand.

“I was very pleased to be able to present Owen with this award. Owen has made an enormous contribution to civil defence emergency management and the wellbeing of the communities he has served over the past 45 years,” Peeni Henare said.

“Owen first became involved with civil defence emergency management in 1974, and since then has held civil defence emergency management portfolios in Southland District, Gore District, and the Chatham Islands.

“During his time on the Chatham Islands, in addition to his role as Council Chief Executive, Owen has served as Alternate Controller, Recovery Manager and Chair of the CDEM Co-ordinating Executive Group.

“He has served during significant emergency events including the 1978 Mataura Floods, the 1984 Invercargill Flood, and Cyclone Pam in 2015. Owen has also been involved in numerous smaller events, including a number of rural fire events.

“The Chatham Islands faces a number of unique challenges when it comes to emergency management. Owen has been a strong supporter of CDEM, ensuring that the Council is appropriately resourced for emergency management and being readily available to assist as Controller during emergencies.

“Through his dedication and commitment, Owen has helped make his community safer and more resilient,” Peeni Henare said.

Mr Pickles was previously recognised in the 2017 New Year Honours, being made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to local government.

Long service awards are presented to individuals who have performed 10 years’, 20 years’, 30 years’ or 40 years’ of active service in civil defence emergency management in New Zealand, at either the national or local level.

More information about the awards is available at https://www.civildefence.govt.nz/cdem-sector/cdem-awards/.