New appointments to Emergency Management Assistance Team

New Zealand’s emergency response system has been boosted with a second cohort joining the New Zealand Emergency Management Assistance Team (EMAT).

Sarah Stuart-Black, Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, has today announced the appointment of 16 new EMAT members, bringing the total number to 31.

“The Emergency Management Assistance Team provides a national cadre of specially trained emergency managers who can go wherever needed at very short notice to assist and support local teams to manage emergencies across all hazards and risks,” Ms Stuart-Black said.

“Since the launch of the team in September 2019, EMAT personnel have been deployed to support the responses to the West Coast severe weather event in December 2019, flooding in Southland in February 2020, activation of the all of government response to COVID-19 in March, and a further deployment to Queenstown in support of the all of the government response to COVID-19 in May 2020.

“The second cohort have already undertaken their first deployments in support of the response to COVID-19, with the new team members being deployed to the National Crisis Management Centre in Wellington.

“The Emergency Management Assistance Team members have significant experience in crisis response and emergency management in a range of settings in New Zealand and overseas. These individuals bring with them specialist skills in Public Information Management, Strategic Communications, Operations, Planning and Intelligence, and iwi and community engagement.

“The dedication and skill EMAT personnel bring to the role, helps ensure that New Zealanders receive a consistent level of support in any emergency, wherever and whenever it happens.”

Emergency Management Assistance Team candidates are required to undertake a 12-day residential training course, including an intensive 36 hour disaster simulation exercise.

The new EMAT members are:

  • Aaron Waterreus, Fire and Emergency New Zealand
  • Andrew Holden, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise
  • Casey Hamilton Harrison, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
  • Chris Lind, Fire and Emergency New Zealand
  • Clinton Naude, Emergency Management Bay of Plenty
  • Eddie Hebert, Department of Conservation
  • James Thompson, Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management Group
  • Jenny Calder, Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group
  • Glenn Thompson, Fire and Emergency New Zealand
  • Hamish Waugh, Manawatū District Council
  • Lee Harris, Pike River Recovery Agency
  • Libby Clifford, Kaikōura District Council
  • Sarah Holland, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Tim Chiswell, St John New Zealand
  • Paul Bourton, Emergency Management Bay of Plenty
  • Phil Mackay, MacKenzie District Council

More information about the Emergency Management Assistance Team is available at

Published: Jul 1, 2020, 11:30 AM