New emergency boss takes up job

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The Waitaki District Council has successfully filled the vacany left by emergency services manager Chris Raine.

He has been replaced by Jane Lodge, who started in the role on Monday, but her title will be manager, emergency management for the Waitaki District Council.

Miss Lodge has made her way down from Auckland after being an active part of both the Auckland City Council and the Auckland Council when the eight local councils merged into one.

After spending about 12 years in Auckland she decided a change was needed.

“After spending so much time in Auckland, it was time for  a change;  I’ve always loved this part of New Zealand and thought it would be a great chance to move down here and do something I’ve had plenty of experience in, with new challenges.”

While Miss Lodge acknowledged that it takes time to settle in, fortunately so far there were no issues.

“I’m really enjoying it, everyone has been very welcoming and that’s fantastic. My focus for now is meeting people, forming relationships, listening and learning.The better our relationships within communities and all our stakeholders are, the more smoothly we can work together.

Her career in emergency management started back in the 1990s when she worked for Environment Canterbury as a trainer and advisor.

The most significant event Miss Lodge has been involved in was supporting those impacted and evacuated from the the Christchurch earthquake.

“We worked with over  3500 evacuees who came  north from Christchurch. A large number required assistance with housing, financial support and general advice.

Miss Lodge is looking forward to working with the emergency services, communities and other stakeholders to understand current procedures and ways of operating.  Where opportunities are identified to improve or enhance practices, these will be done in a collaborative way, she said.

By BRAYDEN LINDSAY

PHOTO: BRAYDEN LINDSAY

NEW TO TOWN: Jane Lodge is new to Oamaru having been picked as the replacement for Chris Raine.