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Resilience and civil defence

For Immediate Release
Thursday 18 December 2008

The recent reminder to Wellingtonians of a potential major earthquake should stimulate a far greater concern: that of the ability of the region to survive economically after such a disaster.

Research by the New Zealand Resilience Trust has recently shown that the larger government agencies are prepared to move from the Capital and operate outside the area - probably in either Auckland or Palmerston North.

But how long will it take to rebuild the city's infrastructure to a stage where all those thousands of government workers can move back to Wellington?

Recall a couple of years ago the fiasco when a local gas company had to clean water out of their pipes. How many weeks were CBD businesses without gas?

And while you're at it ask yourself this question: does YOUR source of income rely on one or more government agencies being in Wellington? Because it won't be just the civil servants out of a job (or out of the city); many ancilliary services will suffer too. Taxi companies, caterers, stationers, couriers, printers, advertising and marketing companies, dry cleaners... the list goes on.

The Trust has raised the issue of economic disaster following an earthquake both with Wellington City Council councillors and senior government officials.

However Wellingtonians must embrace the concept of 'resilience' and started working toward becoming more self aware of the hazards and threats, more self-reliant, and more connected to the communities they live within.

Further information on the link between resilience and civil defence can be found at www.nzrt.org.nz.


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