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Front Row (L-R):</strong> Councillor Kirstyn Barnett, Mike Bryce, Nikita Bryce Back Row (L-R): </strong> Brennan Wiremu (WDC Emergency Management Advisor), Peter Cameron (Regional Emergency Management Advisor), Chris Field (WDC Emergency Management Officer)

Veteran Civil Defence Volunteers Recognised

Three of Waimakariri’s veteran Civil Defence volunteers were recognised this weekend, following more than a decade of service from each.

Regional Emergency Management Advisor, Peter Cameron presented Mike Bryce, Nikita Bryce and Councillor Kirstyn Barnett with the Ministry of Civil Defence 10-year Long Service Award at a special ceremony hosted at a Civil Defence Cadet camp in Glentui.

All three recipients have responded to a variety of emergencies across the South Island, including earthquakes, fires and flooding events. Waimakariri Civil Defence Emergency Management Advisor, Brennan Wiremu, says their dedication and experience has been invaluable to the District.

“Many people don’t realise that Civil Defence consists almost completely of volunteers. These three have committed an enormous amount of time towards helping communities in need, even when they themselves have been affected by the same emergency.” ~ Brennan Wiremu

Mike Bryce started volunteering with Civil Defence as a member of rescue team NZRT12 in 2009. In that time, he has responded to a wide-range of emergencies including search work following the September 2010 Earthquake despite his own house being destroyed.

Mike has also responded to flood and storm events in Waimakariri and held leadership roles within NZRT12. He has been instrumental to procuring resources and sponsorship deals for the team and now volunteers for St John Ambulance in addition to his Civil Defence responsibilities.

Nikita Bryce is the first graduate of the NZRT12 cadet program, having followed her dad Mike joining the team as a 16 year old in September 2010, just three days before the September 2010 earthquake struck. Like her dad, Nikita is also a seasoned veteran of emergencies, responding with the team to numerous floods, storms and fires in Waimakariri, Christchurch, Hurunui and Nelson-Tasman districts. In 2014, Nikita was elevated within NZRT12 to a deputy section leader - a position she still holds today.

Councillor Kirstyn Barnett was a founding member of the Woodend Community Emergency Response Team before joining the Civil Defence Eastern Sector Post team in 2009. Kirstyn activated early during the Canterbury earthquakes: initially in a spontaneous local community response and subsequently with her Sector Post team. Her work included scouting neighbouring properties for those who needed help, delivering drinking water, assisting the Council’s Emergency Operations Centre with volunteer rostering and arranging childcare to enable staff to respond to the emergency. In 2016 Kirstyn moved to Cust and transferred to the Western Sector Post, where she’s continued to volunteer and respond to emergencies in addition to her role as a Waimakariri District Councillor


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