Our team

Paul Allen

Resilience Advisor - Group Office
70 Stafford Street  
Dunedin 9054 

DDI: 027 569 5134
Email: paul.allen@otagocdem.govt.nz 

Matthew Alley

Group Manager
1 Dunorling St
Alexandra 9320

Email:   matt.alley@otagocdem.govt.nz

Dan Andrew

Emergency Management Advisor  (Queenstown Lakes)
10 Gorge Rd, Queenstown 9300

Email:   dan.andrew@otagocdem.govt.nz

Karen Beattie

Emergency Management Advisor (Dunedin) 
Level C, 54 Moray Place
Dunedin 9054

DDI:  03 474 3111
Email:  karen.beattie@otagocdem.govt.nz

Ewen Graham

Emergency Management Advisor (Waitaki)
Centennial Memorial Building, 1 Severn Street
Oamaru 9400

DDI:  03 434 8561
Email:  ewen.graham@otagocdem.govt.nz

Glenn Mitchell

Team Leader - Group Office
70 Stafford Street 
Dunedin 9054

Email:  glenn.mitchell@otagocdem.govt.nz

Brendon Smith

Emergency Management Advisor (Clutha)
1 Rosebank Terrace, PO Box 25
Balclutha 9230 

DDI:  03 419 0287
Email:  brendon.smith@otagocdem.govt.nz

Oliver Varley

Emergency Management Advisor (Central Otago/Queenstown Lakes)
1 Dunorling St
Alexandra 9054

Email:   oliver.varley@otagocdem.govt.nz

Phil Witchall

Readiness and Response Advisor
70 Stafford Street
Dunedin 9054

DDI: 03 474 0827
Email:   phil.witchall@otagocdem.govt.nz

Craig Gibson

Emergency Management Advisor
(Queenstown Lakes)
10 Gorge Rd, Queenstown  9300



Trevor Andrews

Lifeline Utilities Coordinator - Group Office



Controllers and declarations

The Civil Defence Emergency Management priority is public safety; reducing the loss of life and injury, and relieving the distress of those affected by the disaster.

If a state of emergency is in force, you must follow all instructions given by emergency services and civil defence.

Civil Defence is often involved in localised events such as floods and storms, monitoring conditions throughout the troubled district, tracking weather patterns and keeping an overview to ensure safety.

Its role widens when an official state of national or local emergency is declared under section 68 or section 69 of the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002. The CDEM Group will decide if an event is so serious that a state of emergency must be declared.

Once a declaration is made the Group Controller is the head of the CDEM Group response organisation and has two key responsibilities:

  • To participate in the planning and implementation of activities which will prepare the community to respond effectively to any civil defence emergency;
  • To lead, direct, and coordinate all resources as necessary to respond effectively to the impact of a disaster during a state of local emergency.

The Group Controllers are trained in emergency management procedures. The CDEM Group has also appointed local controllers for each of the districts within the region under section 27 of the CDEM Act. Within their respective districts, the local controllers manage their local emergencies and report to the Group Controller.


Trained and experienced Controllers are pivotal in leading the response to emergencies in each district as well as at the regional level. They hold their authority from the Otago Civil Defence Emergency Management Group and operate under the provisions of the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002.

Here is the list of Controllers who are authorised to act in Otago as of 5 March 2019.


Emergency Management Otago 


Matt Alley

Richard Saunders

Gavin Palmer

Steve Rushbrook

Sarah Gardner

Lawrence Voight



Dunedin City 


Sandy Graham 

Simon Drew

Chris Henderson

John Christie


Queenstown Lakes District

Meaghan Miller

Thunes Cloete

Peter Hansby

Tony Avery


Waitaki District

Roger Cook

Murray Linwood

Lichelle Guyan


Clutha District



Jules Witt

John Scott

Gavin Scott

Ian McCabe 

Stan Leishman 


Central Otago District 

Sanchia Jacobs

Louise van der Voort

David Campbell