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Solutions For Emergency Management

New Bill Provides Solutions For Emergency Management

Minister of Civil Defence Hon. George Hawkins said the Civil Defence Emergency Management Bill sets out solutions and guidelines on how to manage civil emergencies.

A briefing was delivered today by George Hawkins and the director of Ministry for Emergency Management to utilities managers and executives.

Current laws are out of date and ineffective in providing clear management guidelines in the event of a civil emergency.

The Civil Defence Emergency Management Bill provides that utilities undertake business continuity planning and that they share their plans with those responsible for civil defence emergency management.

This planning ensures utilities are best positioned to avoid emergencies, maintain services during a disaster, and to recover in the post-disaster period.

"Earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions are commonplace in New Zealand. We sit astride the Roaring Forties and within the range of cyclones.

"The current civil defence law is out of date and is barely adequate to cope with a large scale emergency," George Hawkins said.

Annually, floods cause damage of around $180 million, and earthquakes cause damage of around $15 million. This new Bill takes into account technology advances since 1983 when the current law was passed.

"Today, all New Zealanders rely on advanced utilities - water, wastewater, electricity, telecommunications systems – that serve communities in ways unheard of in 1983.

"Utilities are increasingly complex and involve networks of associated, interdependent, and independent providers. The impact of the failure of these services is enormous.

"This Bill provides a framework that makes essential management of civil emergencies possible," George Hawkins said.

Ends

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