The State of National Emergency has been extended across the country and in response, the Waimakariri District Council has activated its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). Preparations to activate the centre have been taking place since the State of National Emergency was initially declared but as we move into the second week of the level 4 alert the decision has been made to activate in response to local need for additional welfare services. While the council is focused on maintaining essential services (and will continue to run these services), we will also now be further supporting the nationwide Civil Defence movement against COVID-19 and activating local civil defence measures where needed. The EOC must have a Controller for critical decision making, who is given further legislative means and access to extra-ordinary powers to take action where needed. Nick Harrison, the Waimakariri District Civil Defence controller, says the centre has been activated to provide a central place for individuals, agencies and others in need to come for support. “This is an unprecedented situation and quite different from other Civil Defence activations as its one where we need to keep people safe in their bubbles while trying to connect with them and offer support. “In saying that, there are a lot of avenues of help available to our residents and we are looking for those who need to help to connect them with these services.” One way Civil Defence are helping already is by providing temporary assistance to local supermarkets. Eight staff have been coordinated to step in and pack groceries to customers, particularly for those that are vulnerable and in need. We are also anticipating we will need to provide further support to our local food banks in the coming weeks. If you need assistance: Waimakariri residents can call the Council's normal 0800 number directly ( 0800 965 468 ) to be connected with our Welfare support team You can also dial the helpline number 0800 24 24 11 .