Civil Defence  |  21 Oct 2021

Canterbury’s Civil Defence Emergency Management Group has a new Group Controller – Sean Poff.

As Group Controller, Mr Poff will lead, direct and co-ordinate local multi-agency responses to emergencies in Canterbury and the transition to recovery.

Mr Poff is currently working in Wellington as the Director of Science, Data and Insights for the Ministry for the Environment. He is passionate about emergency management and has previously worked in the military and central Government, both in New Zealand and abroad.

“We’re thrilled to have acquired Sean’s leadership skills in high pressure situations, combined with his extensive strategic knowledge, which will be so valued in Civil Defence operations and to the people of Canterbury,” said Chair of the Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel.

Outside of emergency situations, the Group Controller helped to ensure that communities, and the agencies that supported them, were resilient and prepared to deal with the risks they faced.

Being able to communicate clearly and decisively under pressure, and show political acumen were important requirements, Ms Dalziel said.

Mr Poff said he was honoured to have been appointed and looked forward to working with officials and staff from local authorities and partner agencies towards building resilient communities across Canterbury.

“I was impressed by the initiative and community spirit shown by emergency services staff, volunteers and the public during recent emergencies across the region, including flooding and the Covid-19 response,’’ Mr Poff said.

Mr Poff’s appointment follows the retirement of Neville Reilly, who held the position of Group Controller for 10 years. Mr Poff will take up his new role on 10 January 2022.