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Preparation key for new Emergency Management Advisor

Amanda Reynolds

Planning for the worst and hoping for the best is part of everyday life for newly appointed Emergency Management Advisor Amanda Reynolds.

Amanda took up her new position earlier this month, and says her local knowledge is already proving invaluable.

With a varied background in front facing local positions, Amanda says knowing how the Wairoa community ticks and its unique needs is vital for her new role.

Amanada has worked as a pharmacy technician at the former Ray Lyall Pharmacy, spent six and half years in customer services at Westpac bank, had a stint at Affco and three and a half years working for Corrections as a senior probation officer.

She is the daughter of Maurice and Miriam (nee McNabb) Reynolds, and is Wairoa born, bred and educated. Amanda is married to Lenny Ferris and the couple have two daughters, Manaia, 20 and and Riria 16.

Amanda says her passion is empowering people and her new role, which focusses on community engagement, allows her to do just that.

“This position enables me to help people and teach them resilience and how to be prepared for any type of emergency.”

The role, formerly held by Denal Meihana, is a collaborative approach coming under the Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management group, funded by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and based at the Wairoa District Council offices.

“A key focus is educating people to be prepared for disaster by developing whānau plans and community resilience plans.

“As humans we minimise the effects, we feel it’s not going to happen to us. However, we never know what is around the corner and the best we can do is to be prepared with plans tailored to suit the circumstances of whānau, communities, organisations or individuals.

“If we were to have a magnitude 9 earthquake, it is highly likely roads and bridges would be impacted around the region leaving pockets of communities totally isolated. As we near the 34th anniversary of Cyclone Bola, which destroyed the Wairoa Bridge in March 1988, it is a timely reminder to ensure we are all prepared, particularly with natural challenges that we have no control over.”

Amanda is looking forward to getting out and about in the community and forming new relationships.

Any groups, organisations or whanau who would like advice around a tailored plan in case of emergency should email Amanda on

27 January 2022

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