Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare has visited the Manawatū-Whanganui Civil Defence and Emergency Management team and met officials to discuss the region's Covid-19 response.
Horizons Regional Council chief executive and MWCDEM group controller Michael McCartney said it was great to host the minister on Wednesday afternoon.
"One thing that is often lost in an emergency response is the significant role local government plays in delivering emergency coordination through civil defence and emergency management groups such as ours," he said.
The MWCDEM Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) operated between 16 March and 28 May in response to Covid-19.
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He said while the Ministry of Health was the lead agency for a pandemic response, the ECC provided regional coordination and support to all relevant agencies.
"For the Horizons Region, this included four district health boards – MidCentral, Whanganui, Lakes and Waikato – the region's seven city and district councils, emergency services, and government agencies such as the Ministry of Social Development."
Over the 11 weeks, the ECC's 30 rostered staff and an additional 30 support staff operated a seven-day-a-week welfare helpline call centre and coordinated the region's response.
McCartney said, across the region, welfare support included answering 6500 inquiries and delivering about 6000 food parcels and shopping for 855 households.
Since May, Horizons has continued to operate its Emergency Operations Centre at a monitoring level.
He said their efforts also continued in the recovery, with a focus on economic and social wellbeing of communities.
They had also been successful in securing $18.4 million in environmental enhancement shovel-ready projects.