5.4 Civil defence and emergency management
The Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Act 2002 outlines the roles and responsibilities of elected members in emergency management in New Zealand. The CDEM Group Committee is a statutory committee of Auckland Council comprised of governing body members and observers from CDEM key partners and stakeholders. The committee’s role is to provide strategic direction and leadership across the CDEM sector. The committee oversees the delivery of coordinated CDEM arrangements across the Auckland region. Members of the CDEM Group Committee have a number of important statutory roles and responsibilities including:
Declaring a state of emergency
When an emergency happens, or has the potential to occur, a state of local emergency may be declared under section 68 of the CDEM Act 2002. Declaring a state of local emergency provides a number of important powers to CDEM Groups during times of an emergency. The Mayor is authorised to declare a state of emergency. If the Mayor is absent, the following members are empowered to declare an emergency: Deputy Mayor; Chair of the Auckland CDEM Group Committee; other governing body members of the CDEM Group Committee.
Local board members, as representatives and decision-makers on local matters, provide leadership and help to support strong local communities. Local board members are integral to working to create resilient local communities. The work of local boards is closely aligned to the 4Rs framework (Reduction, Readiness, Response, Recovery) and the Auckland-specific goal of Resilience. Local board members contribute in a number of ways to these goals and in particular provide local leadership and help to integrate resilience into communities and support those communities affected by local emergencies.