A new liaison programme with iwi in Waihi, Paeroa and Manaia will see closer cooperation between the iwi and the Waikato Civil Defence Emergency Management Group.
The programme is aimed at helping local marae be better prepared to cope with emergencies.
Staff from the group emergency management office, the Thames Valley emergency operations area and Waikato Regional Council met with Hauraki iwi recently on Tirohia Marae in Paeroa.
The meeting discussed the roles and responsibilities of civil defence and how marae and whanau can be better prepared for emergencies.
Regional council kaiwhakarite Gannin Ormsby says marae representatives agreed they wanted civil defence to facilitate further workshops on how marae could improve preparedness for emergencies and build capacity to respond to them.
“The meeting was very productive and has laid the groundwork for the local civil defence and Hauraki iwi to cooperate closely together on better disaster preparedness and response.
“The idea is that civil defence will help build capacity by up skilling iwi representatives so they can pass the message and skills on to their people.”
Gannin says the meeting in Paeroa was a forerunner to further meetings planned between iwi and civil defence later in the year.
“We are also looking to do similar work with Ngati Maniapoto, Raukawa and Waikato-Tainui, and are in discussions with other iwi as well.”
Project Manager of Marae Development at the Hauraki Maori Trust Board Alice Anderson says whanau need to ensure they have contingency plans in place for civil defence emergencies in the future.
“The civil defence presentation was informative and engagement between marae representatives and agencies was positive.
“Ongoing communication with agencies and civil defence planning are the next steps forward for whanau and marae.”