Whanganui has moved into a recovery phase following the closure of the Emergency Operations Centre set up to manage the response to Covid-19.
The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) was led by the Whanganui District Health Board and Te Ranga Tupua.
Now a recovery office, led by Leighton Toy and Charlotte Almond of Whanganui District Council and Louise Allsopp of Whanganui District Health Board (DHB), has been set up.
The office is working with the Rangitikei and Ruapehu district councils to ensure the DHB's recovery support services are aligned.
"Health, social and economic recovery are very much interlinked, so we will be taking a multi-agency, integrated approach, with a strong community focus," Toy said.
"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.
"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 underway 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."
Allsopp said the EOC could be reinstated at any time, if needed.
The EOC team, under controllers Allsopp and Stuart Hylton, was operational seven days a week throughout alert levels 3 and 4 and during the transition to level 2.
"A huge volume of information was assessed and co-ordinated through the centre, with planning and logistics required for every possible scenario we could anticipate in the early stages of the Government's response," Allsopp said.
"Adapting to developing situations and alert levels has been a big task, as we have been addressing diverse needs, such as running CBACs [community-based assessment centres] 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 to keep the people of Whanganui safe throughout this time."
The recovery team is actively engaging with community organisations and agencies, including Whanganui & Partners, Whanganui District Council's economic development agency, Toy said.