Kōwhai Specialist School

Emergency Management Information for Whānau and Caregivers 

Date 17.3.2021KSS New logo landscape

Key risks for our school

Kōwhai Specialist School is not in a risk area for Tsunami,  flooding or volcanic eruption. 

Incident Management Team 

Sarah Roil (Principal)

Sharon Ackerley (Executive officer, Health and safety team)

Katie Hagen (Health and safety leader, Assistant Principal)

Mandy Moylan (Therapist team leader, Health and safety team)

Kirsten Barbara (OT, Health and Safety team)

Dean Goodall (Member, Kōwhai Special School Board)

Preparing for and practising our plan

In preparation for an emergency Kōwhai Specialist School has developed a procedure that is in line with the Ministry of Education Guidelines 2020. This includes the forming of an Incident Management team, 2 termly health and safety meetings and Staff health and safety inductions. 

The school engages in drills throughout the year for fire, earthquake, lock down and missing students. Social stories, songs and discussions aimed at the appropriate level are had with our students. 

Staff are trained in first aid every 2 years.

We are engaging with parents and caregivers via this form to keep you updated with our latest Emergency management information.

In the event of a real emergency you will be updated via  email, website, text and/or Facebook depending on the situation and functioning networks at the time.

Emergency kit

Each satellite has its own emergency kit plus a trip bag that goes with the class whenever they are out of the classroom.

Emergency medication is kept in the trip bag.

The emergency kit is updated yearly and the trip bag is updated termly.

Reviewing the plan

The Emergency management plan is reviewed yearly. 

A member of the Incident Management Team will meet with the relevant staff to debrief after each drill is undertaken. 

Communication in an emergency

In an emergency depending on the situation and functioning networks at the time we will communicate with you via:

  • text

  • email

  • Facebook 

  • Website

  • National radio stations:

National Radio 101.5 FM/ 630AM
Newstalk ZB 90.3 FM
Radio Live 1368 AM

Authorised persons to uplift your child

In an emergency we will only release children to people already approved by the parent/caregiver for that purpose. Any approved contact whom we are not familiar with will be required to bring photo identification.

It is essential you let the school office know whenever your contact details change.


Base evacuation areas

Firstly - Base school on wood around the sandpit.

Secondly (if first option not safe) – Central School Field or Central School satellite

Room 5 Evacuation Areas

Base school on wood around the sandpit.

Therapy room Evacuation Areas

Go through room 5 playground into the base playground.  

Earthquake - Assemble outside our office only if they can't get through to the playground.

Lockdown - Stay in office

Central evacuation areas

Central School Field

Raureka evacuation areas

Rugby field. 

Heretaunga intermediate evacuation areas

Far netball courts

Flaxmere college evacuation areas (Also a Civil defence Centre)

Flaxmere college meets on the courts 

Civil Defence Centre

Church of Latter Day Saints

Heretaunga Street West

Volcano Evacuation Plan

In most cases it is advisable to stay indoors during ash fall.

Shelter in place and lockdown

  • If we need to bring everyone inside, with the exception of emergency services, we won’t be letting anyone in to the school/service once we have shut our doors

  • Please wait for information and instruction from us and do not come to the school until asked to do so, even if it is the end of the day. Arriving when we are still managing an emergency could put you, your child and our staff at risk. 

  • We will continue to provide the very best care we can to keep your child as safe as possible.

  • If needed and when it is safe to do so, we will ask you to come and collect your child.

  • For some events, there won’t be any need for your child to be picked up as school will continue as normal after the event has ended

Reunification process

Our emergency contact plan for parents and caregivers

  • Parents and caregivers will be advised in the event of an emergency by text alerts, email or Facebook and details posted on our website

  • Phone Call (parents) Classroom teachers are responsible for letting parents and caregivers know about the situation. However the Leadership Team is available to help on request. 

  • In an emergency we will only release children to people already approved by the parent/caregiver for that purpose. Any approved contact whom we are not familiar with will be required to bring photo identification. 

  • Staff at Base and Central (and other schools) to tick off on the taxi list as students are picked up, including who collected them and what time they left.

Supporting children after an emergency event

  • We will monitor all children to identify if there are any wellbeing concerns.

  • If you have any concerns about your child please speak with us. We have support mechanisms we can access to provide you and your child with the help you need. 

If you would like any further information about our emergency management planning – please contact Katie Hagen Katie@kowhaispecial.school.nz (Health and safety leader)