Successful 2019 JCDR Summer Institute

This March saw another successful week of the JCDR’s Emergency Management Summer Institute, which going from strength to strength each year. From the 11th-15th we saw 52 participants from over 25 organisations and 6 countries, including Australia, China, Sri Lanka, Vanuatu, and Aotearoa New Zealand.


This short course programme was developed to provide an introductory crash-course into emergency management through both theoretical and practical applications. This ranged from presentations and workshops to field trips and site visits. This time around our national panel of experienced and diverse speakers were joined by 3 international presenters – Maximillian Dixon from the Washington Emergency Management Division in the United States of America, Professor Susan Cutter from the University of South Carolina, and Professor John Handmer, whom until his recent retirement, led RMIT University’s Risk and Community Safety division in Melbourne, Australia. The inclusion of international speakers provided useful overseas case studies of public education and community engagement initiatives, as well as strategies for monitoring and evaluating their efficacy.


This year’s site visits saw participants explore the National Crisis Management Centre below the Beehive and the Wellington Regional Emergency Management Centre, while the usual field excursion of Wellington and Hutt Valley on day 4 saw the inclusion of a visit to the Wellington Hospital. Here participants were given a tour of the various interventions the hospital had taken to mitigate the impacts of a large and damaging earthquake, including base isolators. The final day saw the group visit Te Kakano o Te Aroha marae in the Hutt Valley to explore how to better understand the role of Māori attributes, such as knowledge, values and practices, during disasters. These discussions drew on experiences and case studies of iwi, hapū and marae in past events.


For the first time ever the centre additionally hosted a number of social events and even a public talk to further enhance the experience of the week long education. The public talk saw invited speaker Professor Susan Cutter speak about ‘Compound, Cascading or Complex Disasters: Are these the New Normal?’


The 2020 Emergency Management Summer Institute will take place from March 9th-13th. Please check back on our website later in the year for more information regarding this.