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Monday, June 24, 2024

RNZ Appoints Kate Gudsell as Emergency Planning Manager

Radio New Zealand has established a new role dedicated to ensuring RNZ is prepared for emergency events and to deliver emergency broadcasts.

A new position of Emergency Planning Manager has been created. The manager will also ensure that RNZ is prepared to meet its obligations as a designated critical Lifeline Utility under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act.

RNZ is appointing seasoned journalist Kate Gudsell to the role. She has been with RNZ for 14 years, most recently as Wellington Bureau Chief. She is experienced in reporting from the frontline of emergencies.

“I learnt the value of RNZ in a time of emergency early in my career covering the Christchurch earthquakes and reinforced more recently helping co-ordinate our coverage of Cyclone Gabrielle. The intensity and frequency of emergency events we’re experiencing have ramped up over the years and as a public broadcaster we have a fundamental role in keeping our communities informed during a time of crisis. I see this role as an opportunity to help with vital communication during an emergency and through the recovery period,” she said.

Under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002, RNZ is designated as a critical Lifeline Utility organisation. This means RNZ is required to develop processes and maintain arrangements and relationships that support the effective and consistent broadcast of warnings and public information in an emergency.

On top of this responsibility, RNZ must ensure its business continuity planning, internal resources and training, and external relationships are maintained to a standard that allows it to respond effectively and appropriately to a range of potential emergency scenarios.

RNZ Chief Technology Officer Mark Bullen said introducing the Emergency Planning Manager role demonstrated how seriously RNZ took its Lifeline Utility status. “The role is about testing how RNZ performs during a crisis, understanding the unique needs of different communities and making sure we are as prepared as we can be to play our role when disasters occur. Kate brings excellent leadership and communication skills, alongside an absolute passion for staff safety and I know she will throw herself into this vital role,” he said.


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