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Surveillance System Makes New Zealand Safer

Minister of Civil Defence Hon. George Hawkins said the announcement of an upgrade to the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences' surveillance system is excellent news for those involved in Civil Defence and Emergency Management.

The Earthquake Commission will contribute $5 million a year for at least ten years to the Institute to enable the surveillance system to provide rapid and reliable hazard information that is essential in an emergency.

"The existing equipment has aged and is in need of replacement. The EQC initiative, as announced by Finance Minister Dr Michael Cullen today, will broaden the Institute's knowledge and understanding of geological hazards," George Hawkins said.

"Volcanic hazards and earthquakes are frequent events in New Zealand. This country sits on the Pacific Rim of Fire, and the threat of a geological civil emergency is forever present.

"Civil Defence and Emergency Management have a 4-Rs approach to such emergencies. The 4-Rs approach considers Reduction, Readiness, Response, Recovery. We must reduce the impact of disaster on our communities and environment. We must be ready and prepared should a disaster strike.

"Civil Defence relies on the very best monitoring equipment to provide early detection of volcanic unrest or strains in the earth's crust," George Hawkins said.

"The new equipment will provide an essential basis for Civil Defence's role in managing emergencies.

"It also enables Civil Defence and Emergency Management to better plan and manage responses to emergencies. This will ensure communities experience a speedy recovery should a disaster strike," George Hawkins said.

Ends

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