The National Crisis Management Centre will be equipped with a new emergency management IT system, the Minister of Civil Defence, John Carter, has announced. The system will be provided by E-Sponder for use at the centre and by civil defence authorities. The NCMC, based underground beneath the Beehive, is New Zealand's national emergency operations centre which coordinates the responses of the hundreds of organisations likely to be involved in a large scale emergency.
Carter says the system will allow the centre to quickly and accurately create and keep up to date a "common operating picture" to ensure that all agencies involved have the same understanding of the situation, who is doing what, where resources are and what decisions are being made. Carter says E-Sponder is an off-the-shelf system already in use by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australian federal government and by some US state and county governments. The system is part of a series of upgrades, totalling $2.8 million in value, for the centre that include expanding alternate communications and installing video conferencing facilities. The emergency management information system will be rolled out by mid-2010. E-Sponder is a US company based in Missouri which has partnered with Intergen locally.