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Climate change a key risk for Carterton council

Natural disaster is one of the top risks identified by a Carterton District Council [CDC] committee.

CDC’s risk and assurance committee was asked at its meeting on Tuesday to consider what the top risk areas for the district are.

A report to the committee identified risks related to poor natural disaster response, including lack of preparation, that should be a key consideration in future planning.

Mitigations should be adopted to prevent the council from being overwhelmed in a major incident like Cyclone Gabrielle, the report said.

Investment in staff capacity and capability was recommended, including regular training, and ensuring relevant policies and procedures are in place and followed.

The report noted a comprehensive programme has already been underway for CDC staff for some time.

“Internally, we have had a strong focus on increasing staff capability in emergency management over the past 18 months.

“Currently 30 per cent of staff have completed foundation or intermediate level emergency operation centre training.”

Further participation in emergency activities, such as exercises and online courses, is needed for staff to achieve full competency in those emergency roles, the report said.

The remainder of staff will undergo internal training for emergency response, although the ability to deliver training “is a challenge due to capacity demands”.

After a wide-ranging discussion on risk mitigation strategies and prioritisation, the committee agreed to recommend five top strategic risk areas for consideration at its next meeting.

The top risks identified were climate change, delivery of critical services, financial control, strategic partnerships, and health safety and wellbeing.

The recommendations will be considered by CDC at its meeting on December 6.

-NZLDR

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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