Minister welcomes new Director of Civil Defence

  • Nikki Kaye
Civil Defence

Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye welcomes the appointment of Sarah Stuart-Black, the new Director at the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM).

“The appointment was made by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, in consultation with me about the requirements of the role.”

“Sarah has strong national and international experience, and a broad understanding of managing emergencies, as well as building and maintaining systems to prepare for, respond to and recover from them.”

Sarah joined MCDEM in 2003, and has been Acting Director since the retirement of previous Director, John Hamilton.

“During her more than ten years with MCDEM, Sarah has ably demonstrated her leadership ability.

“This includes leading hazard risk management and research, professional development and the Ministry’s international engagement programme.

“She has also led sector-wide change in the delivery of welfare services during emergencies.”

A born and bred Kiwi, Sarah originally worked in New Zealand as a nurse, before expanding her career overseas.

“Sarah’s experience has seen her involved with everything from a food crisis in Ethiopia, to terrorist bombings on the London underground and the devastating Canterbury earthquakes.”

As well as nursing qualifications, Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Disaster Management and a Master’s degree in Research in Disaster Management.

“As a country, we are at risk from a broad range of hazards.

“Sarah will play a lead role in the vision of building a resilient, safer New Zealand, with communities that understand and successfully manage their hazards and risks.

“We’re lucky to have a Director with Sarah’s experience to fill this important role.”