Civil Defence 2017 awards announced

  • Nathan Guy
Civil Defence

Outstanding contributions to Civil Defence Emergency Management have been recognised tonight by the Civil Defence Minister Nathan Guy.

One gold and three silver Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) awards were presented tonight at an event in Wellington, recognising outstanding contributions.

“Tonight’s recipients have served their country with superb skills and knowledge, and a genuine dedication to protect people’s lives and livelihoods,” says Mr Guy. 

“They have made real sacrifices in order to serve their communities. They have helped to keep our communities safe and resilient, through planning, training, and education, and leadership. And in times of crisis, they step up and get stuck in.

“Emergency management is a cornerstone of New Zealand’s resilience to natural disasters. Tonight’s winners are a reflection of New Zealand’s strong community spirit, and amongst a sector already filled with exceptionally hardworking people, they set an excellent example for others to follow.”

The 2017 CDEM gold award is being presented to the Community Link Groups who are part of the Tairāwhiti CDEM Group.

“These Link Groups have set an excellent example on how to be prepared, take the right action at the right time, and to work as a community to look after each other.”

Silver award recipients are:

  • David Scott who passed away unexpectedly in 2015 following a battle with cancer. This award is therefore made posthumously, recognising his generous and talented contributions as lead advisor for emergency communications for the Nelson/Tasman CDEM Group.
  • Pat Dougherty for his outstanding contribution to Emergency Management over more than a decade, across a number of leadership roles.
  • Rob Upton for his outstanding contribution to the Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management Group over the past 25 years.

Tonight’s awards ceremony also recognised innovation in CDEM through the presentation of the Director’s Innovation Award. The award recognises exceptional innovation or creativity that has pushed the boundaries of current CDEM practice in New Zealand. 

This year’s Innovation Award, presented by Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management Director Sarah Stuart-Black, went to Tauranga City Council and Tonkin + Taylor to mitigate tsunami risk for local communities.

The awards also saw the recognition of the dedication of a number of individuals for 20 and 30 years’ service to Civil Defence Emergency Management. Full details will be made available on the Civil Defence website (