Recovery media release #1 Whanganui’s Emergency Operations Centre closes


22 May 2020


Whanganui’s Emergency Operations Centre, led by the Whanganui District Health Board and Te Ranga Tupua, has now closed, marking a formal transition to recovery for the region.


In its place, a Recovery Office has been established, led by Leighton Toy and Charlotte Almond from Whanganui District Council and Louise Allsopp, from the Whanganui District Health Board.


The office is working collaboratively with Rangitikei District Council and the Ruapehu District Council to ensure the Whanganui District Health Board’s recovery support services are aligned.


 Recovery Manager, Leighton Toy says, “Health, social and economic recovery are very much interlinked, so we will be taking a multi-agency, integrated approach, with a strong community focus.


 “It has been a strange and challenging time, but there have been some valuable learnings and opportunities that are being incorporated into our recovery plans.”


 He says, “Along with others in our community, we have been gathering information and preparing for recovery at the same time as we have been responding to an emergency situation.


 “There are many positive initiatives already under way and we are seeing innovation and resilience across all areas of our communities. We want to ensure these are recognised and supported in the recovery plan for our region.”


 Recovery Manager, Louise Allsopp says, “The Emergency Operations Centre is ready to be stood up again at any time, should it be required.”


The Emergency Operations Centre team, under controllers Louise Allsopp and Stuart Hylton, was operational seven days a week throughout Alert Levels 3 and 4 and during the transition to Level 2.


Louise Allsopp says, “A huge volume of information was assessed and coordinated through the centre, with planning and logistics required for every possible scenario we could anticipate in the early stages of the Government’s response.


“Adapting to developing situations and alert levels has been a big task, as we have been addressing diverse needs, such as running CBACs for Covid-19 testing, establishing a welfare line, coordinating public information and working closely with partners such as the Police and Te Ranga Tupua.


“I extend my thanks to all those, both within the Emergency Operations Centre and in our community, who worked throughout to keep the people of Whanganui safe throughout this time.”


Leighton Toy says the recovery team is actively engaging with community organisations and agencies, including Whanganui & Partners, Whanganui District Council’s economic development agency, as it works alongside key business partners and organisations.