Terms of reference for review into Auckland flood response revealed

Sun, Feb 5
Wayne Brown signing state of emergency extension.

The membership and Terms of reference for the review into the immediate emergency response following last week's Auckland floods has been released this evening.

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown commissioned the review amid criticism of his handling of the crisis as it unfolded on Friday January 27.

The Council’s Emergency Management team’s first communications came at about 6.15pm on that Friday.

The state of emergency in Auckland was declared at about 9.30pm but media were not informed until 10.17pm that evening.

Brown extended the city's state of emergency on February 3 for an additional seven days, as he apologised for his handling of the response.

The review will cover the response in the first 24 to 48 hours, including Brown's actions, which many criticised as too slow the night of the most serious floods.

"The four-strong review team will be led by former Police Commission Mike Bush CNZM, who led the response to the 15 March 2019 terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain and was Strategic Operations Lead for the New Zealand Government’s Covid-19 response," the Mayor's office said.

It lists Bush's extensive crisis management experience during the 2019 Whakaari White Island Eruption, the 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake and, when posted in the New Zealand Embassy in Thailand, the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

The review will report on the performance of the immediate official emergency response and identify any actions that need to be implemented immediately to ensure better preparation for the next event.

It will consider how well Auckland Emergency Management and emergency services performed during, before and after the event, as well as the emergency management response operating model and procedures.

It will find key legislative, regulatory, policy and operational considerations that led to the state of emergency being declare and whether it should have happened earlier.

It will also review the efficacy and timeliness of related communications, including declarations and alerts, as well as decision making around the number and location of evacuation centres.

"Mr Bush and the team he has selected have unmatched experience in crisis management response and are of unimpeachable integrity," Brown said.

"As I said on Friday, I dropped the ball the night of 27 January, especially with my communication, and I am sorry."

The initial budget for the review is $100,000 and will be paid out of the Mayor’s Office.


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