Selwyn’s new Civil Defence manager Al Lawn

New Civil Defence manager

by Mike Isle

Selwyn District has a new Civil Defence manager, and he says he leads a top team ready to respond to any emergency.

Al Lawn took over as the council’s Civil Defence manager in April. His plan is to build on the work undertaken by the team under former manager Ryan O’Rourke, former emergency management officer Tasha Black, and current team members Sue Jenkins and Jason Flewellen.

“They have helped create a Civil Defence team that is the envy of many in New Zealand. They have done a brilliant job, so I’m just following on their coat-tails,” he said.

A former policeman and volunteer firefighter, Mr Lawn has worked extensively for Civil Defence in the past five years including as the district’s Civil Defence controller, and recovery manager after the Port Hills fire.

He spent three weeks assisting with the management of the Civil Defence response to the Kaikoura earthquakes and 10 months as a response manager in the northern South Island overseeing the Ministry of Primary Industries response to the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak.

Having farmed near Lincoln for 20 years and serving as a district licensing commissioner for five years, he said he enjoys living and working in the district.

His responsibility includes ensuring the district is as resilient and prepared, as best it can be, to respond to any adverse event. That includes making sure resources are in place to enable communities to respond through their Community Response teams and the district’s Response/Rescue Team.

Al Lawn encourages everyone in the Selwyn district to sign up to Selwyn Gets Ready, which will help the district respond better to any adverse events.