Mail boats help Sounds emergency planning

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Mail boats help Sounds emergency planning

Despite the Kaikōura earthquake in late 2016, research in mid-2017 found that most Sounds residents and visitors gave little thought to the impact of an emergency, and that they were unaware of the emergency management advice available for people in the Sounds.

On discovering this, Marlborough Civil Defence and Emergency Services Officer, Catherine Coates, took up the challenge and developed two sets of simple advice, one for Sounds residents and one for visitors.

Because internet and radio coverage are so patchy or non-existent, the information was published as a double-sided leaflet to put on the fridge or in the visitor information pack. The next challenge Catherine faced was delivery.

“Fortunately,” Catherine says, “the Sounds are well-serviced by the mail boats, which carry freight and passengers in all weathers. The boat operators kindly supported our initiative, distributing the leaflet at no cost to all properties serviced by the mail boats, as part of the mail run. We were also able to get the leaflet to visitors with the support of the marina offices and water taxis in Waikawa, Picton and Havelock.”

Catherine says the feedback has been really positive, so we’re planning another push this coming summer.

To find out more, give Catherine a call on 03 520 7400 or email

For a copy of the leaflet visit the Civil Defence Get Ready page