Regional council begins rebound from Sunday night's earthquake
Greater Wellington Regional Council is well advanced towards a return to full service delivery following the damage and significant business interruption caused by Sunday nights earthquake.
The earthquake and severe weather were a double whammy for the regional council. We were put under great pressure to keep essential services operating and provide up-to-date information to the community on fast-changing weather conditions, road closures, public transport and flooding throughout the region. We met the pressure despite having limited staff available, says Greater Wellington Regional Council chair Chris Laidlaw.
The regional council moved quickly to relocate its call centre from its damaged campus at Shed 39 in CentrePort to Upper Hutt by Monday morning, enabling it to prove real time information on transport and flooding. The contact centre was swamped with calls.
The Metlink website, providing real time data for travellers, also faced demanding conditions.
On Monday we had just under 40,000 people viewing our Metlink site and 55,000 on Tuesday, four or five times the average, all looking out for service change information. They were two huge days and we were glad to be able to help people plan their journeys and stay safe throughout the region.
Due to damage to the ground floor at Shed 39, the regional councils central Wellington-based staff are currently working from home or using other GWRC offices in the Hutt Valley and Wairarapa.
The structure of Shed 39 is safe and is being used as the business recovery centre by senior management. However the land underlying the structure has been affected by subsidence. Other buildings used by the regional council in Upper and Lower Hutt and Wairarapa are unaffected.
Our key priority now is to find accommodation and bring staff together to ensure we can resume all business as usual. This will take some time but we are working as fast as we can, says Greater Wellington chief executive Greg Campbell.
In the interim, regional council staff are creating ways of working together to meet the needs of the region. Work is being prioritised and the most important services continue to be delivered to the community.
It will take a little time to fully get back up and running but our stakeholders can be confident that we will be back to full strength soon, Mr Campbell added.
This afternoon Greater Wellington Regional Councillors were given a status report by senior management, toured Shed 39 and met to discuss issues related to the continuation of business.
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