Civil Defence

Whakatāne, Ōpōtiki and Kawerau District Councils have a combined emergency management office. It is operated from the Whakatāne District Council, Commerce Street, Whakatāne.

All three councils contribute to the maintenance of the office, which in turn has several important functions, including maintenance of the emergency operations centre and the training of a response team.

As part of its responsibility to the community it serves, the office also offers education and training to any group wishing to upskill in civil defence matters.

When Disaster Strikes

Knowing what to do in the event of a disaster can help to keep you and your family safe.

Sign up for text alerts from Bay of Plenty Civil Defence to get text alerts for major emergencies, such as tsunami and earthquakes, sent directly to your mobile phone.

To learn what is happening and what you should do, tune into the local radio station for updates and messages from Civil Defence. 

Listen to 1XX Live Stream - (clicking this link will launch your media player)

Bay of Plenty Emergency Management Group

The Bay of Plenty Emergency Management Group brings together all the local councils, the Regional Council, emergency services, District Health Boards and other organisations to work together towards its vision:

"A resilient Bay of Plenty Region"

The Whakatāne District Council is a member of the Bay of Plenty Emergency Management Group. The Bay of Plenty Emergency Management Group website has information about potential hazards in our region, "Be Prepared" advice, Emergency Status alerts for the region, latest news etc.

If a disaster happened now, would you be ready?

Due to its location and environment, New Zealand faces many potential disasters. In some cases, such as a weather-related or volcanic disaster, there may be time for a warning. But an earthquake or a tsunami close to land could strike without warning. All disasters have the potential to cause disruption, damage property, and take lives. So it's vital that you prepare now.

The Get Ready, Get Thru website will show you how to get ready, so you'll get through.

The Disaster Preparedness Guide for People with Disabilities (PDF, 1 MB) will assist those who have physical, visual, auditory or cognitive disabilities in preparing for a disaster.


Get Ready Get Thru Brochure - A brochure containing all the information you need to get ready so you can get through.

Get Thru Brochure - (PDF, 412 KB)

Household Emergency Checklist and Plan - This Household Emergency Checklist and Plan will help you get everything ready, and have a plan for your household so you get through.

Household Emergency Checklist and Plan - (PDF, 57 KB)

Whakatāne District hazard map

The Earthquake Commission has compiled a map of our district showing the natural hazards present. Download hazard map - (JPG, 154 KB)

In a Civil Defence Emergency, it is recommended that you store three litres of water per person per day.

View active and proposed road closures, roadworks, and emergency road status information.
We live on a coastline where tsunami could occur. It’s important to be prepared and know the warning signs and alerting mechanisms are for a tsunami. Being able to determine these can give you vital time to safely evacuate.
Floods are a common hazard in New Zealand. Getting ready before a flood strikes will help reduce damage to your home and business and help you survive.
Whakatāne Emergency Response Team (WERT) is a Council-supported initiative. The team is made up of volunteers who train fortnightly and give up many of their weekends to enhance their rescue knowledge and skills.