Issued on behalf of Waikato Civil Defence
Lee Hazlewood has had an action-packed life, including time as a counter terrorism police officer and as a homeland security manager for Boeing in Seattle.
Now his most recent work building emergency response expertise and capability in Waikato and nationally has been acknowledged by both Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye and the Waikato Civil Defence Emergency Management group joint committee.
The minister recently presented Lee – the Waikato group’s controller - with a ministerial award recognising his important contributions in this country.
After Lee’s award was recognised today by the joint committee in Hamilton, its chair Hugh Vercoe said: “We are very fortunate to have someone of Lee’s calibre heading up group operations.
“This recognition from the minister re-enforces what we have all seen since Lee started with us in 2011. He has used his extensive experience and skill to substantially boost the group’s capacity, and the region is far better prepared for a civil defence emergency.”
The citation that came with Lee’s award said he had made “an invaluable and lasting impression” on the civil defence sector in New Zealand through the establishment and leadership of a new national integrated training framework which had replaced a somewhat “ad hoc” system.
Development of the national framework followed on from work Lee did in Waikato and with neighbouring civil defence groups.
“While the integrated training framework has been a success due to the contributions of all stakeholders, it would not have achieved what it has without Lee’s dedication, commitment and drive,” the citation said.
A current and former staff member were also recognised with service awards at today’s committee meeting.
Sharon Cousins-O’Donnell, now working for DairyNZ, got a service award for training and exercise co-ordination, while Matthew Pryor got an award for community resilience co-ordination. Sharon’s time with Waikato civil defence included a stint helping the national controller in Christchurch, while Matthew has particularly helped drive a very successful social media campaign for the group.