23 June 2016

Dedication and commitment to service was acknowledged at an awards ceremony today which recognised years of service by six Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) staff. Tasked with coordinating activities related to hazard and emergency management across the Bay of Plenty, those recognised for their significant contribution was Olive McVicker, Peter Watson, Benjamin Wilson, Angela Reade and Eric Newman. 

Chair of the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Joint Committee, and Tauranga Mayor, Stuart Crosby says without the commitment from people like those who we have thanked today CDEM would not be able to deliver the services we provide in building resilience in our communities.

“This is a great opportunity for CDEM to take the time to appreciate the efforts of our long service recipients and say a hearty thank-you,” says Mayor Crosby.

  • Olive McVicker has been a diligent and effective member of the western Bay of Plenty Emergency Operations Centre team since 2005, and played an important communications role in events like ‘Operation Alpha’ in May 2005 when extreme rainfall led to extensive flooding in Tauranga and the western Bay.  
  • Peter Watson’s involvement stretches back to 1993 and during that time he has been involved in a number of extreme weather events where the western Bay of Plenty Emergency Operations Centre was activated in anticipation of a required response such as the May 2005 flooding.
  • Benjamin Wilson has been a familiar face at a number of extreme weather events since 2001, including during the Rena sinking. His work as an intelligence analyst has been hugely valuable throughout the years.    
  • Angela Reade joined the team in 2005 and was instrumental in developing a marae Emergency Preparedness Kit that was launched earlier this week. This kit helps share knowledge with CDEM staff across the country on how to build meaningful relationships with marae communities to ensure they are more prepared in an emergency.
  • Eric Newman brings a lot of experience to the table having joined the team in 1999. His time as Controller during the May 2005 flooding was especially noteworthy.  

CDEM Awards programme was introduced by the Minister of Civil Defence in 2009 to recognise career and volunteer personnel within CDEM in New Zealand.