The Board of Mystery Creek Events Centre, which is owned and operated by not-for-profit NZ National Agricultural Fieldays Society, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Group, detailing the use of the HQ and its facilities during a large-scale emergency response when current civil defence
facilities may either be inadequate or out of action.
The MoU follows the Fieldays Society Board having independently approached Civil Defence, before the building was developed, to offer it as a back-up emergency response facility for the Group’s Hamilton emergency coordination centre in Victoria St. This allowed the Fieldays Society to take civil defence requirements into consideration during construction.
“This is a fantastic example of a great proactive approach to good corporate citizenship,” said Group controller Lee Hazlewood.
"Not only have the Fieldays Society saved ratepayers a significant sum, but they have provided us with a magnificent back-up emergency response facility that we will be able to transition into relatively seamlessly if need be,” said Mr Hazlewood.
As a result of discussions prior to construction, the new building incorporates such facilities as additional wireless internet capacity and external electrical hook-ups to support the potential for portable office
containers or mobile command vehicles parked outside.
"This means we could both use the building as a back-up facility and have capacity to expand or move the operation into the event centre’s car parks as required.”
The Fieldays Society has funded around $10,000 worth of direct costs involved and the arrangement has saved the Group tens of thousands of dollars in fees that would normally be used to retain multiple large back-up locations just in case.
Fieldays CEO Jon Calder led the work on the project with Board member Tony Begbie and Fieldays Operations Manager Richard Ferdinands.
"The Fieldays Society is incredibly proud that our new headquarters will be able to add significant value to our local community and region,” said Mr Calder.
“As an organisation we are committed to playing our part in actively supporting initiatives like this. The investment made by the Fieldays Society means that the Waikato Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, through not having to secure alternative premises, can use their funding for other important regional issues."
Mr Hazlewood said the Group was working on a range of other initiatives to both improve the business community’s ability to cope with disasters and to contribute to disaster response. Waikato Civil Defence Group is:
- working with mid to large-scale companies on “business continuity planning” to help
them keep running during disasters
- identifying teams within the corporate sector who can help directly with disaster response,
and identifying specialised corporate knowledge and equipment that may be
- looking to integrate business into the planning process to help minimise, where
appropriate and practical, impacts to such things as critical supply chains.
“It’s about getting everyone on the same page as much as possible before disaster strikes so that we can provide the best available response resources to the community and minimise the impacts of a large emergency or disaster on the region’s economy,” said Mr Hazlewood.
Meanwhile, Waikato Regional Councillor Hugh Vercoe was elected chair of the Waikato Civil Defence Group’s joint committee shortly before today’s signing.
This media item was current at its release date. The facts or figures it contains may have changed since its original publication.