A new $1.5 million Emergency Co-ordination Centre next to the Hastings District Council civic building was officially opened on Friday.
The Lyndon Rd East building will act as a control centre for agencies in times of emergency.
Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare joined Hastings District Council Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst and chief executive Nigel Bickle, Hawke's Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Joint Committee member and CHB Mayor Alex Walker at the opening.
The new building touted as being "under-budget, on time and over spec" was fully funded by Hastings District Council and the Hawke's Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management (HBCDEM) group are the main tenants in the building.
The need to replace the existing building with one more fit for purpose was identified about two years ago, and the HBCDEM group worked closely on the design of the new future-proofed Importance Level 4 (IL4 rating) facility.
Its IL4 rating means it is able to withstand a one in 2500 year seismic event, and the completed building can be tailored for specific incidents to ensure effective response to, and recovery from, emergencies.
Hazlehurst said the building will help in the management of all agencies and services when it comes to an emergency.
Henare added that he was there to support the work being done by the council and the community to ensure this facility was available for the region.
"Local government, like central government, takes the safety of our people very seriously – we need to ensure process does not supersede people, that we keep people at the heart of any emergency response – this building is testament to such work that's being done locally."
As well as all the agencies involved in Civil Defence in the region, he also acknowledged the volunteers who came forward in times of emergency.
HBCDEM group manager Ian Macdonald said the group was really happy with the new facility.
"It not only gives us all the room and up-to-date technology we need to respond to emergencies in our region, but is also a great space to carry out our day-to-day work," he said.
"We'd like to thank Hastings District Council for all their support in building Hawke's Bay's new Group Emergency Co-ordination Centre."
The Hastings District Council and HB Regional Council will be working through future lease and/or building ownership options over the next four months.
HB Civil Defence operations are funded by a regional rate which is collected by the HB Regional Council.