2018 EMPA New Zealand award winners

S5 Box

Login Form

Members' Registration

The Annual EMPA Awards for Excellence in Emergency Communication have been established to recognise those who have made a significant contribution to emergency communications in Australia and New Zealand.

2018 saw the New Zealand EMPA Awards for Excellence in Emergency Communications presented at the EMPA NZ Conference Dinner in Wellington on Monday, 20 August 2018.

Here are the winners, as well as highly commended entries, in each category:

Excellence in Resilience and Readiness

Joint Winners - Bay of Plenty CDEM Group & Emergency Management Southland

Bay of Plenty CDEM Group for their ‘Youth Jam’ – engaging youth in emergency preparedness and Emergency Management Southland for ‘More than Just a Plan, Stan’ – turning community response planning on its head by putting the community at the centre of each plan, rather than imposing a top-down approach.

DSCN0164 DSCN0168
Karl Ferguson, EMPA Committee, and Sam Rossiter-Stead, Bay of Plenty CDEM  

 Craig Sinclair, Emergency Management Southland

Highly Commended – Project AF8

Project AF8 received a commendation for its video series raising awareness of the hazards posed by the Alpine Fault and launched the consultation on the draft SAFER Framework, which will guide the coordinated response to a magnitude 8 rupture along the length of the South Island.


 George Dawes and Jon Mitchell from Project AF8 with Karl Ferguson

Excellence in Response and Recovery

Joint Winners – Kaikoura District Council & North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery Alliance

Kaikoura District Council for its communication and engagement efforts during the long-running recovery effort for New Zealand’s second-smallest district after the Kaikoura earthquake; and the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery Alliance (NCTIR) for their project ‘Moving Mountains’ – recognising the huge communication and community engagement effort undertaken during the restoration of road access to Kaikoura after the 2016 earthquake.


DSCN0189 DSCN0191

Libby Clifford from Kaikoura District Council with Glynn Walters

Mike Seabourne from NCTIRA with Glynn Walters


Excellence in Emergency Media

Winner –  Jamie Morton, NZ Herald

Jamie Morton from the New Zealand Herald, for an extended piece of print and online writing on the Hikurangi Subduction Zone entitled ‘Our Sleeping Taniwha.’


Karl Ferguson and Victoria Walker accepting on behalf of Jamie Morton, with Lee Cowan

Excellence in Research

Winner – Sally Potter, GNS Science

Sally led a research project using an evidence-based approach to writing short messages for the New Zealand public. It included reviewing international research on how short warnings influence behaviour, and then tested the findings in New Zealand. Her research into short messages is now being implemented by MCDEM in the new emergency mobile alerting system, to provide effective warnings of life-threatening emergencies.


Lee Cowan with Sally Porter