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Mt Ruapehu Decision Negligent

Mt Ruapehu Decision Negligent

ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley today slammed Conservation Minister Chris Carter and the Labour Government for failing to act on a known and predictable threat to public safety and infrastructure.

"The collapse of the tephra rim of the crater lake on Mt Ruapehu is inevitable, with a high probability of it occurring within 12 months. We know from past experiences - such as the Tangiwai disaster - what destruction might follow," Mr Shirley said.

"A comprehensive engineering report has shown that risk can be greatly diminished by draining the lake and that this is the most cost effective means of tackling the problem.

"The Government - through the Conservation Department - is now preventing the local council from taking the necessary action to remove a known serious risk, as it required to do under the Civil Emergency Act and other statutes.

"If the Minister and the Government do place the unspecified spiritual values of the crater and Mount Ruapehu summit above public safety, then they should be required to indemnify the local authority, utility companies and private citizens who will bear the cost of their fallacy.

"The Conservation Minister's emphasis on warning sirens is laughable and akin to believing that smoke alarms will put out a fire," Mr Shirley said.

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