Civil Defence Goes Regional

25 June 2012

The ability of the Wellington region to respond to a disaster is about to be significantly improved.

The current WEMO building in Thorndon will become the Wellington base for WREMO

The current WEMO building in Thorndon will become the Wellington base for WREMO

From 2 July, WEMO - the Wellington Emergency Management Office, run by the Council - will become part of WREMO - the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office.

The new arrangement signals a major step forward in the way emergency services organise and share resources around the region.

WREMO will operate mainly from the earthquake-resistant emergency management building in Turnbull Street, Thorndon, and the Hutt City Council's offices. The Porirua, Kapiti and Wairarapa offices will continue to operate as satellites.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, the City Council's Emergency Management Portfolio Leader, says WREMO has been formed as a result of a 2010 assessment of the region's disaster-response capability, conducted by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management.

"This found that while emergency-management responsibilities were generally well managed, there were issues about how they were coordinated across the region."

WREMO, attached to Greater Wellington Regional Council, is headed by external officer Bruce Pepperell.

Their work is ultimately overseen by the region's Civil Defence and Emergency Management (CDEM) Group Joint Committee chaired by Kāpiti Coast Mayor Jenny Rowan.

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