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Disaster Victim Identification teams in for the long haul

Disaster Victim Identification teams in for the long haul.
6 March, 2011 - 11:05

Police say identifying all the victims of the Christchurch earthquake could take weeks, and possibly months.

Over 240 DVI staff are involved, including teams from Australia, UK, Japan, China, Thailand, Singapore, Israel and Thailand.

Superintendent Sam Hoyle says the DVI teams continue to work carefully through the complex identification process but it won't be done overnight.

"We are acutely aware that families want their loved ones returned, particularly our guests from overseas, and our teams are working flat out to achieve this.

"However international experience from events such as the Boxing Day Tsunami and the Victoria bush fires has shown it can be months before all identities are confirmed.

"In exceptional cases it has taken years to identify all the victims of mass casualty events.

"This is painstaking, exacting work and the reality is very different from how it looks in television programmes such as CSI.

"You don't get DNA matches in seconds at the push of a button - it takes time.

"We are following international best practice standards and have some of the most experienced DVI specialists in the world working with us.

"The focus is to make accurate identifications. We are not going to rush this process and risk causing further pain to grieving families by making a mistake.

"If we make a mistake we create uncertainty and doubt for everyone.

"We can't make it better for the families but we can certainly make it worse for them if we get it wrong.

"We ask for your patience and understanding while our large team continues to work through this difficult and complex job."

ENDS

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Election Day: Make Sure You're A Part Of It!

Saturday 20 September, is election day, and New Zealanders’ last chance to have a say on who leads the country for the next three years.

“The people and parties we elect tomorrow will be making the decisions that affect us, our families and our communities,” says Robert Peden, Chief Electoral Officer. “It doesn’t get much more important than that, and we need all New Zealanders to use their voice and vote.”

Voting places will be open from 9.00am until 7.00pm on election day. The busiest time at voting places is usually 9.00am - 11.00am.

“Take your EasyVote card with you when you go to vote, as it will make voting faster and easier, and vote close to home if you can. But don’t worry if you forget your card, or didn’t receive one, because as long as you are enrolled to vote, your voice will be heard,” says Mr Peden. More>>

 

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