Manawatū-Whanganui Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group continues with response and recovery at Alert Level 2

The Manawatū-Whanganui Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MWCDEM) Group will continue with responding to COVID-19 and planning for recovery at Alert Level 2.

MWCDEM Group controller Craig Grant says that the while the Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC), which has been activated for over eight weeks, will down scale in staffing it will still be operating for the foreseeable future.

“The main reasons for this is to ensure continued coordination of the regional response for COVID-19, to provide the local welfare helpline for those who need assistance, and to plan for the transition to recovery.

“At Alert Level 2 most of our community should be able to get back to some normality however there is still a need to ensure those who require assistance are cared for. As such we will continue to remain operational.”

Mr Grant says the activation level for the ECC will drop to level two status to reflect the evolving event and allow a number of Horizons Regional Council staff to get back to their usual roles.

“Welfare remains a priority and will retain a dedicated team, with other roles being incorporated alongside business as usual work. Planning for the transition to recovery to help communities get back on their feet is also key and will align with recovery action at a national level once that is determined.

“We don’t expect that transition to happen for a while yet, however we are working closely with central government and our city and district councils to ensure that when it does that our communities will have what they need. This may range from social support through to economic support, with a dedicated Regional Economic Recovery Taskforce in place to assist.”

Mr Grant says it’s important that we don’t lose sight of the gains we have made as a region as we move into Alert Level 2.

“As always, we’d like to encourage people to follow the government’s guidelines, to check in on those who are vulnerable, and be kind as we will all handle the transition to Level 2 differently. For those who need support from the local welfare helpline, please call 0800 725 678 between 9am and 5pm any day of the week.”

For up-to-date local information regarding the COVID-19 response, please see the MWCDEM Facebook page and for all other information