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Hawke's Bay Lifelines

What are Lifelines?

Lifeline services are those services critical to supporting a functioning society. These include but are not limited to transport, electricity, water and communications. The disruption of any of these can severely impact both business and personal life, to a potentially life-threatening extent – especially during a disaster.

Lifeline infrastructure references both the physical and ‘soft’ assets which make the generation, transmission and distribution of lifeline services possible. For example, these can include hydroelectric dams, roads, airports or even specialised software.

Lifeline utilities are the entities that operate lifeline services. These entities are a mixture of private companies and local government departments. Several different entities can be involved in bringing the service to the community from the generation of a resource, management of infrastructure and final distribution to consumers.

Hawkes Bay Lifelines Group – What do we do?

“To assist Lifeline utilities agencies with responsibilities under section 60 of the CDEM Act 2002 to meet those responsibilities”
– HB Lifelines Group Terms of Reference

The Hawkes Bay Engineering Lifelines Committee, or Hawkes Bay Lifelines Group, is a voluntary group of lifeline utility operators in association with Hawkes Bay Civil Defence Emergency management. Established in 1997, the group seeks to mitigate risk and reduce impacts to infrastructure and levels of service, with the ultimate aim of reducing human suffering during and after an event. Members attend quarterly meetings to share knowledge and coordinate activities, as well as listen to keynote speakers present on industry, research and recent emergency events.

Coordination of lifelines is important as interdependencies between and within sectors can restrict the level of service for other lifelines. For example, roads provide access to overhead conductors. If roads are still impassable after an event, it may not be possible to fix broken powerlines and restore electricity to a required level of service in that area. Understanding the exposure of infrastructure to hazards and network resilience, along with an entity’s capability to restore damaged infrastructure, is key to a strong event response.

During an event, HB CDEM works with HB Lifelines Group to maintain an up-to-date picture of levels of service – enabling both Lifelines and emergency responders to carry out their activities with timely and efficient use of limited resources.

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