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Otaki MP and Civil Defence Minister Nathan Guy has congratulated Kapiti Coast District Council Chief Executive Pat Dougherty for his silver Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) award received tonight. 

“Pat has held leadership roles in Civil Defence work since 2005 and has made an outstanding contribution,” says Mr Guy.

“He has done a great job of pulling together the different CDEM teams in the wider Wellington region to create one unified organisation supporting all nine councils.

“This means there is a consistent approach and consistent messages to the public which is very important.

“His leadership means we are stronger and much more prepared for emergencies. Well done Pat, this award is well deserved.”


Full citation

Mr Dougherty was first appointed to an Emergency Management leadership role in March 2005 when he was designated as an Alternative Group Controller by the Nelson Tasman CDEM Group; a role he held until his departure in August 2008 to become Chief Executive Officer of the Kapiti Coast District Council.

In October 2010, he was elected Chair of the Coordinating Executive Group (CEG) as part of the Wellington CDEM Group. At that time, the Group was fragmented, not only at the governance and management levels, but also within the disparate council based CDEM teams. This left the region exposed with inconsistent approaches to both readiness and response, and more importantly, confusing messages to the public. This presented a less than desirable situation for a region where many people live in one city/district and work in another.

Pat’s contribution to the resulting amalgamation and reform programme was his leadership, determination, and an ability to sell the [im]possible. At a time when there was little appetite for amalgamation, Pat convinced the councils of the potential that could be achieved by optimising the operational synergies between their respective staff; with each council giving up direct control for the collective benefit of the region. 

This saw the various CDEM teams of the region reform as one unified organisation supporting all nine councils of the region, with a mandate to consider fresh approaches to traditional sector challenges.

The resulting organisation, the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO), has not only been instrumental in boosting grass-roots resilience at the community level. WREMO demonstrated its capability in November 2016 when a series of events including an earthquake, tsunami, and widespread flooding caused significant disruption across the region.

In addition to his work at Group level, Pat has also contributed at a national level as a member of the CDEM Resilience Fund review panel. This is a key role, providing an independent assessment of applications to the CDEM Resilience Fund. The panel is appointed by the Director CDEM and comprises Group and sector representatives. Pat was appointed when the CDEM Resilience Fund was established in 2010 and remained on the panel until 2015.

Pat’s outstanding contribution to Emergency Management over more than a decade, across a number of leadership roles, makes him a very worthy recipient of the Minister’s award.

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