Whakaari/White Island Incident Management

Alan Thompson made this Official Information request to Whakatane District Council

The request was successful.

From: Alan Thompson

Dear Whakatane District Council,

On 9 December 2019 Whakaari/White Island erupted resulting in multiple deaths and injuries to tourists who were on the island at the time. The Whakatane District Council subsequently issued the following statement:

“An eruption occurred at Whakaari/White Island at about 2:11 pm, 9 December 2019. In response, we are working closely with the lead agency the New Zealand Police and with National Emergency Management Agency and the New Zealand Red Cross.

Bay of Plenty Emergency Management Group coordinated the multi-agency response to the Whakaari/White Island eruption event with NZ Police leading search and recovery operations”.

In response to a recent OIA request with respect to the management of the incident, NZ Police advised that they (NZ Police) were not the Lead Agency for the “Whakaari/White Island Eruption”. The Lead Agency is defined by CIMS as: .
“The agency with a mandate to manage the response to an incident through legislation, under protocols, by agreement, or because it has the expertise and experience. The lead agency establishes control to coordinate the response of all agencies involved”.

This suggests then that Whakatane DC was the Lead Agency. Under the provisions of the Official Information Act I request the following information with respect to Whakatane DC’s management of this incident:

1. Confirmation that Whakatane DC was Lead Agency for Whakaari/White Island and that your organisation controlled and coordinated the response of all agencies involved in the response to the eruption and the associated SAR operation.

2. Confirmation that Whakatane DC implemented the NZ CIMS (currently Ver 2) in the management of this disaster as Lead Agency and as required by Government?

3. The names of the other services, agencies and organisations who participated in the response under Whakatane DC’s control and coordination?

4. The functional positions appointed to the Whakatane DC’s led Incident Management Team (IMT) and the agency who filled the position for the period of the response?

5. For the period of the response, the total number of formal/written Incident Action Plans (IAPs) that were prepared by the IMT and signed off by Whakatane DC's Incident Controller (IC)?

6. Copies of each of the IAPs as prepared by Whakatane DC’s led IMT for the first 5 days of the Whakaari/White Island response?

Yours faithfully,
Alan Thompson

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From: WDC Customer Service
Whakatane District Council

Kia ora Alan,

Thank you for your request for information. I have forwarded your email to the Chief Executive, Steph O’Sullivan, to be responded to under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987.
Under the aforementioned act, the decision on whether the request is to be granted and, if it is to be granted, in what manner and for what charge (if any); and if the information shall be given or posted to the person who made the request; shall be made as soon as reasonably practicable, and in no case later than 20 working days after the day on which the request is received by that local authority.
Please see our public website for information about making an official information request and the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 under which such information is given:
If you have any further enquiries, please call us directly on 07 306 0500 or email [email address]

Ngā mihi,

Cassandra Richards

P 07 306 0500 Ext 7409 F 07 307 0718
E [email address] W whakatane.govt.nz
Commerce Street, Private Bag 1002, Whakatāne 3158, New Zealand

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