Representatives from emergency services, community emergency hub leaders, Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst, councillors, HBCDEM staff and council community connectors gathered to celebrate community emergency hubs launch. Photo supplied.

More than $2m received in external funding has been used to supply equipment for Civil Defence Centres, the purchase of two mobile welfare trailers, and to support the rollout of 30 community emergency hubs in Hastings district.

During Cyclone Gabrielle rural communities stood up their own community hubs, and in the wake of the event hub leaders expressed the need to continue to build on the current community hubs, particularly in rural communities more likely to become isolated.

With funding received from New Zealand Red Cross and the Ministry for Primary Industries North Island Weather Event Fund, hubs are being established to increase community resilience, equipped with the likes of additional clean safe water storage and upgraded switch boards to allow for generators to be easily used.

All the hubs, which could range from community halls to marae, will also be provided with new publicly accessible defibrillators, first aid supplies and new radios that connect directly with Civil Defence to support communications during an emergency.

In addition, a grant from the New Zealand Disaster Fund has been used to equip the Flaxmere Community Centre and Hastings Sports Centre with 600 mattresses, pillows, sleeping bags, stretchers, toiletry bags, rapid relief packs, and first aid kits to support these venues should they become Civil Defence evacuation centres again.

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said during and after the cyclone, the community hubs that were established provided important connection and support for impacted and isolated residents.

“They were amazing – they were a central point for those isolated communities acting as anything from social spaces to supermarkets, social services and sometimes a doctor’s office,” she said.

“Some initial hubs have already been established and we are aiming to have 30 hubs up and running across the district over the next 12 months.”

The community emergency hub project has been adopted regionally and ongoing training will be supported by Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management (HBCDEM).

HBCDEM group manager Ian Macdonald said the communities themselves were always the first to respond in an emergency.

“This community emergency hub project will provide a network of venues that can be stood up quickly and provide immediate localised support, we are excited to support this programme and be working with Hastings District Council to prioritise this.”

You can find out more about the Community Emergency Hubs including a full map of locations at www.hbemergency.govt.nz/hub

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you to HDC for their support in the community hubs and Marcus Buddo for his mahi in the process of this.
    Ngā Mihi

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