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New face at civil defence helm

The new head of Tairawhiti Civil Defence and Emegency Management has been in the role since the start of the month. Wiremu Tamati-Smith has 20 years experience in peacekeeping, planning and humanitarian aid work in the army.

He has replaced Louise Bennett, who left the CDEM role in January.

“I am taking the time to get to know the intricacies of the role and coming to grips with the challenges affecting Tairawhiti and CDEM in our vast region,” he said.

Mr Tamati-Smith is a local man with strong iwi links around Tairawhiti.

He is a kapa haka enthusiast and a member of the Hikurangi Pariha group.

Wiremu Tamati-Smith. Picture supplied