Western Waikato Emergency Operating Centre (WWEOC) is joining forces with two other Waikato EOCs to provide a combined civil defence response when the country moves into Alert Level 2.
The new Southern EOC will amalgamate Western Waikato, South Waikato and Taupo, and will be based in Taupo, however staff from all three EOCs will continue to provide assistance to their local communities.
The WWEOC was established on the first day of Level 4 lockdown on Thursday 26 March, and has been operating seven days a week dealing with the non-health related responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and in support of the Ministry of Health.
Comprising Waipa, Ōtorohanga and Waitomo Districts, staff from each Council were seconded to their civil defence roles in order to operate the centre based at Waipa District Council’s Te Awamutu office. Strict social distancing and facility sanitation protocols were maintained throughout the operation of the WWEOC.
Duty Controller Andrew Loe says staff in the WWEOC have been working hard to ensure vulnerable members of our communities were cared for in the best possible way while supporting the Waikato District Health Board’s response to COVID-19.
“The health and safety of our communities has always been paramount and our staff have been dedicated to ensuring support is provided in the safest possible way.
“This will not change when our WWEOC functions move to Taupō tomorrow.”
Loe says the transition to the Southern EOC is progressing smoothly and following amalgamation many of the functions will be able to work remotely and will still have a local presence, especially the community-based welfare teams.
“Operating the EOC for an extended period of time has been a huge undertaking and a lot of the work we have done has gone under the radar.”
“My thanks goes to those staff who have turned up each shift and have tirelessly given it their all to support our purpose.”
“There is still much more work to be done and although the Southern EOC will introduce small changes to how we’ve been operating for the past six weeks, our goals and objectives remain the same.”
People requiring assistance in the Waikato region can continue to phone the Waikato Welfare Call Centre on 0800 800 405.
Public Information Manager - Western Waikato Emergency Operations Centre
027 382 3218 | [email protected]
Please note this is the final media release from the Western Waikato Emergency Operations Centre under the current alert level. As of 14/05/2020, all future media releases will be distributed by Southern Waikato EOC: [email protected].