New Zealand Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia

New Zealand's top civil defence experts visit Indonesia to help establish a humanitarian assistance centre for ASEAN

John Hamilton, and Terry Webb being shown around the new AHA centre currently being fitted out

New Zealand’s top civil defence experts visited Indonesia recently to help in the establishment of a regional humanitarian assistance centre aimed at coordinating disaster management throughout the ASEAN group of nations.
“Our team of experts worked with Indonesia officials and the ASEAN Secretariat to see how New Zealand could help in the establishment of an ASEAN coordination centre for Humanitarian Assistance," said New Zealand Ambassador to Indonesia and ASEAN, David Taylor.
The facility known as the AHA Centre will support ASEAN governments in the event of major disasters.
John Hamilton from New Zealand’s Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, along with Terry Webb and Noel Trustrum from Geo-Science New Zealand, participated in an ASEAN-wide disaster simulation exercise, engaged with Indonesia officials handling the Merapi and Mentawai disasters about how best to structure a regional body.
“New Zealand was selected to assist with this work because of our excellent reputation in disaster management,” said Ambassador Taylor.
The New Zealand team were able to share their New Zealand experience, help find ways these experiences can be utilised in Indonesia, and help a task force develop proposals for development of the centre.
How New Zealand can best assist with the centre so it functions effectively, and how New Zealand can support the ongoing operations of the AHA centre were also discussed.
The AHA centre, once up and running, would serve as a nerve centre to gather, monitor, analyse and disseminate information regarding disaster situations in the region, as well as how best to respond.
“New Zealand and Indonesia have a long history of working together on disaster preparedness, mitigation and response which has gives us a strong working relationship,” said Ambassador Taylor.

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