Civil Defence Emergency Management staff from across the country have assembled at Te Manuka Tutahi Marae in Whakatane to launch the Marae Emergency Preparedness Planning Toolkit.
Emergency Management Bay of Plenty Director Clinton Naude said the toolkit served to build and strengthen relationships with marae and hapu and provide planning resources for marae preparedness.
"Like most of New Zealand, the Bay of Plenty needs to be prepared for a wide range of emergencies ranging from localised flooding through to a full evacuation scenario."
"Over the past ten years, our region has experienced a number of these events and we increasingly acknowledge the crucial role that marae play in responding to the needs of their community during and after these events."
"This Toolkit is an opportunity to share what we have learnt with other Civil Defence staff from around the country."
"It is a reminder of the importance of marae to our emergency planning and outlines a 'toolbox' of resources for marae who wish to pick up that role and increase their own preparedness. A partnership between civil defence and marae will help build resilience in our communities," Mr Naude said.
A pilot programme was held in the Eastern Bay of Plenty with six marae, including Kutarere Marae, Hahuru Marae, Waiaua Marae, Omaramutu Marae, and Opape Marae all contributing to the development of the toolkit, and Rautahi Marae trialling the resources before it was released.
The toolkit includes resources and templates in English and Te Reo that staff can use as a guideline and tailor to the individual needs of marae. A plan will identify the potential hazards, people from the marae who have specialist skills such as first aid, and a list of items that will be required to ensure they are adequately prepared.
"This project is an example of what can be achieved when there is collaboration between the national emergency management sector and key stakeholders including District Health Board and Te Puni Kokiri in the interest of marae resilience," said Mr Naude.
"We will continue to share our knowledge and look for ways to improve on how we deliver our services to our communities to ensure a more resilient Bay of Plenty".