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NZ-RT8 Wellington Emergency Response Team

Key contacts
Web site:
Team Leader:

For general enquiries please email:

Operational Activation
If you need the Wellington Emergency Response Team in the first instance please contact the Wellington City Local Controller on04 4994444, or the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office Duty Officer on 021 834739

Team Function
The purpose of the Wellington Emergency Response Team is to act as a resource to assist in the protection and preservation of human life and property by complementing and/or providing operational support to the emergency services and Civil Defence and Emergency Management organisations in Wellington City, across the Wellington Region, and Nationally as requested.

The primary purpose of the team is to provide a well trained and disciplined, readily deployable, operational emergency response capability under the direction of the Wellington Emergency Management Office (WEMO).

Primary functions include -

  • provision of reconnaissance and primary survey of a major incident and feeding information back to the EOC
  • provision of surface search and rescue following an earthquake or similarly damaging natural or manmade event
  • assistance with evacuation and the dissemination of advice and information in the event of Tsunami
The team also supports LandSAR with searches for missing persons in urban areas within the Greater Wellington Region, has an extensive communications capability and provides assistance to other emergency agencies when requested. The team is currently expanding its capability in the areas of Storm Response, Flood Response, and High Angle Rope Rescue. Wellington City is the primary area of operations, however the team can be utilised throughout New Zealand at the discretion of the Team Manager.

Background Information
The team consists of highly skilled and motivated volunteers who have made a commitment to emergency management, particularly in the response to local and national disaster events. The team selects its members carefully, trains regularly, and functions according to a well defined set of standard operating procedures.

The team was originally established in 1971 by a group of concerned local residents from the northern Wellington suburb of Tawa. The aim of this group was to provide members of the local community with the skills to rescue those who become trapped in buildings (specifically timber framed residential buildings as common in the suburb) as a result of an earthquake. Over the following forty years the team has developed and Wellington City Council took over management of the team in 2000. The team was awarded registration as a New Zealand Response Team in 2004.

Two team members went to Queensland as part of the New Zealand Response Team for the Floods in January 2011 and the team was deployed to Christchurch after the February Earthquake 2011.