banner image

Emergency Operations Centre

Emergency Operations Centre

The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is located in the Ashburton District Council Chambers building on Havelock Street, Ashburton, and is stood up as needed when warning of an emergency event is provided or when a disaster has struck.

The EOC will provide a rostered 24 hour co-ordination and liaison role for all response activities within the district, and will also be responsible for keeping Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group informed of developments and progress.

Within the EOC will be council staff and volunteers co-ordinating the various ‘functions’, such as Welfare, Logistics and Public Information. Depending on nature and scale of the event, the EOC may also include representatives from the emergency services and utility providers to co-ordinate the response for their respective areas of responsibility.

Within the district, communication links will be established between the EOC and Community Hubs, Civil Defence Centres, emergency services and utility providers. If telecommunications are not operating, a VHF radio network will be used.

Outside the district, communication links will be established with the Canterbury CDEM Group Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) at the Justice and Emergency Services Precinct (JESP) in Christchurch, and with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and neighbouring territorial local authorities.

Community Response

We have a number of response plans set up with the smaller rural towns within our district. These include identified locations for Civil Defence Centres (CDC) and Community Hubs located strategically throughout Ashburton District. The Community hubs are located at:

​EA Network Centre

Mayfield Fire Station

​Hampstead Rugby Club

​Mt Somers Fire Station

​Hampstead Bowling Club

​Methven Search and Rescue HQ

​Tinwald War Memorial Hall

​Rakaia Search and Rescue HQ

​Hinds Fire Station

View a map of Ashburton District's Community Hub locations

The site manager at each location will be responsible for the coordination of activities, and for reporting back to the EOC.

Community Hubs and CDC’s should be the first point of contact for the public if they need assistance or are able to offer assistance to others during a civil defence emergency.

Civil Defence Centre’s

It may be necessary to establish CDCs to provide food, clothing, accommodation and other support to members of the public. We have identified locations for CDCs within the district that have been assessed on their suitability. Civil Defence will advise which CDC’s will be open, and this will depend on the nature of the event, location and ease of access to the CDC.

Council has also mobile welfare kits including lighting, camp beds, sleeping bags and roll mats to provide an emergency bedding capability in the initial stages of an emergency.

More long-term solutions will be worked through based on needs assessments conducted by Civil Defence staff, in conjunction with external providers.


During an emergency all available forms of communications will be used but it is conceivable that telephones will not be operating. Should this be the case we will revert to VHF radio as our primary means of communication.

An extensive VHF radio network has been established and is regularly tested between the EOC and the Community Hubs. Where a base’s radio has not been supplied there will be handheld radios and mobile sets in council vehicles, which will ensure we will still have communications throughout the district should all other systems fail. All radios can operate on either mains power or a backup twelve-volt system.

Council CDEM also owns two Starlink systems and small generators to provide a backup internet capability should access be interrupted during an event. The actual positioning of these at community hubs will be decided by CDEM based on need.

In addition, the Council also holds two satellite capable telephones, with one located in Ashburton and the other in Methven.