New appointments to Emergency Management Assistance Team

New Zealand’s emergency response community has been enhanced with a third cohort joining the New Zealand Emergency Management Assistance Team (EMAT).

National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Deputy Chief Executive Gary Knowles today announced the appointment of 13 new EMAT members bringing the total to 46.

“The Emergency Management Assistance Team provides a national cadre of specially trained experienced 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,” Mr Knowles said.

“EMAT members are selected from a range of organisations and undergo a complex selection process before completing a residential training programme to ensure they are ready for the most challenging of emergency situations.

“I am delighted with the exceptional calibre of this, our third cohort, intake. Since the launch of the team in 2019 we have seen EMAT deploy to a range of responses from adverse weather events through to the wider COVID-19 response effort.”

The new EMAT members are:

  • Alma Shaw, Ministry of Social Development
  • Andrea Thompson, Emergency Management Bay of Plenty
  • Jason Hill, Fire and Emergency New Zealand
  • Jason Leppens, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
  • Kate Hill, Fire and Emergency New Zealand
  • Lee Hazlewood, Emergency Management Bay of Plenty
  • Lisa Glass, Emergency Management Bay of Plenty
  • Lucinda Swatton, Nelson-Tasman Civil Defence Emergency Management Group
  • Nico Fournier, GNS Science
  • Oliver Varley, Emergency Management Otago
  • Paul Manson, Fire and Emergency New Zealand
  • Richard Hardie, Department of Internal Affairs
  • Ross Paniora, Te Puni Kōkiri

Since the establishment of EMAT, members have been deployed to provide assistance to a number of emergency responses: Franz Josef flooding – Dec 2019; Southland flooding – Feb 2020; and to the National Crisis Management Centre and Queenstown to support the COVID-19 response.  

More information about the Emergency Management Assistance Team is available at

Published: Jun 4, 2021, 9:57 AM