Invite to Business Continuity Forum


15 August 2013

Central Otago business people are being encouraged to register for a Business Continuity and Emergency Management forum to be held in September.

A local steering group made up of organisations including Central Otago District Council, Civil Defence Emergency Management, ACC and the Otago-Southland Employers’ Association is organising a half-day workshop for Wednesday 18 September to be held in the Alexandra Community Centre on Skird Street, Alexandra. The workshop will run from 8.45am-12.45pm.

Central Otago Emergency Management Officer Hamish Keith said business continuity was about ensuring that a business whether large or small was able to recover and continue functioning in the event of a disaster or extended period of disruption.

Disruption didn’t have to be a major event such as a natural disaster for a business to be impacted. It could be small such as a disruption to a supplier, issues with transportation, computer system failure, high staff turnover/illness, poor harvests or pests and diseases, Mr Keith said.

“Continuity planning is not about having a nice printed document that is stored in a draw. It is about having a robust process that allows you and your stakeholders to understand the risks to your business and how you intend to reduce the likelihood and/or consequences of disruption.”

The workshop forum aimed to assist businesses in preparing for disruption on any scale. Local guest speakers will deliver presentations and practical advice to provide attendees with a jump start in their own continuity planning process.

These speakers include Queenstown Lakes District Council Emergency Management Officer Jon Mitchell speaking on the topic of business continuity and emergency management; Noah Heath from ACC on Insurance, Risk Management and Compliance; and Central Otago employers advocate Don Rhodes and health and safety advisor Judy Currie from the Otago Southland Employers’ Association on employment issues in an emergency. There will also be a panel discussion with representatives from various local business groups.

Economic Development Manager Warwick Hawker said the Christchurch earthquakes had demonstrated in a graphic way the importance for businesses to have plans that were kept fresh and staff who were trained to keep going in the event of disruption.

“The consequences if a business stops quickly ripple through the community and effect everyone – customers aren’t supplied, there is no money to pay staff and suppliers, and so on. Fortunately disaster doesn’t happen often but it is really important to be prepared for when it does,” Mr Hawker said.

The forum will also provide the opportunity to network and ask advice from local business groups who will have the chance to display a stall at the forum. If you are interested in attending the workshop forum or displaying a stall please contact: Economic Development Manager Warwick Hawker at the Central Otago District Council on (03) 440 0681 or email

To register for the forum contact Judith Whyte at Council on (03) 440 0618 or email by Friday 9 September.

Page reviewed: 20 Aug 2013 6:15pm