Government supports grass roots emergency resilience initiatives

Supporting preparations for a potential Alpine Fault rupture on the West Coast is one of several grass roots initiatives benefitting from a Government funding package to strengthen community resilience to emergencies.

“Due to its isolation, its topography, and its proximity, the West Coast is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of an Alpine Fault rupture,” Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan said.

“Recent research shows there is a 75 per cent chance of the Alpine Fault rupturing in the next fifty years, and an 82 percent chance that such an earthquake would be magnitude 8 or higher.

“A boost of $340,000 through the Resilience Fund will enable better access to emergency fuel and power supplies, and will bolster local emergency communication options.

“This is a practical and vital investment that will help to build on the outstanding work done by the AF8 project, another of the nine regional initiatives receiving a total of $879,000 from the fund.”

Other successful initiatives  are a project to improve resilience to rain events in Tairawhiti; a Chinese small business resilience conference in Auckland; multilingual children’s storybooks about storms and floods; earthquake education kits in Hawke’s Bay; a regional resilience analysis for Marlborough; a Coastal Community Resilience Guide for the Chatham Islands; and the continuation of a programme in Nelson-Tasman and Marlborough to bring together the eight manawhenua to strengthen Māori planning and preparation for emergencies.

“Yesterday’s release of new data on sea level rise is a timely reminder of why the Government is turning its mind to these issues, and why the proposed National Adaptation plan, which looks to support communities adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change, is so important,” Kiri Allan said.

“Each of the initiatives are strongly focused on future-proofing regional emergency management arrangements, making resilience more inclusive for diverse businesses and communities, and increasing the participation of Māori in emergency management planning. 

“The Resilience Fund taps into the rich knowledge and expertise of our frontline emergency management practitioners in the regions, making it possible to progress smart new initiatives and test innovative ideas.

“It has made possible a number of valuable projects in recent years, such as the AF8 Alpine Fault earthquake response plan, East Coast LAB (Life at the Boundary) and the Marae Preparedness Toolkit, reflecting the Government’s commitment to bolstering New Zealand’s emergency management system,” Kiri Allan said.

Applications were considered by a panel against criteria with emphasis on improved collaboration, improved resilience locally and regionally, and consistent approaches.

The Resilience Fund is distributed on an annual basis. For full details on the successful applicants, visit: http://www.civildefence.govt.nz/cdem-sector/cdem-resilience-fund/#current