Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

MCDEM to review overseas media handling

4 May 2006

MCDEM to review overseas media handling

The Ministry of Civil Defence Emergency Management is to review the way it handles information flows after erroneous overseas media reports caused unnecessary alarm in New Zealand.

Misreporting by the BBC overnight led many people to believe a tsunami as heading for New Zealand. It was not. The Ministry of Civil Defence Emergency Management had been monitoring the tsunami risk to New Zealand since the earthquake in Tonga at 3.27am, and at no stage was there any indication that New Zealand communities were at risk.

The Ministry’s National Crisis Management Centre staff were, within ten minutes of the earthquake, in contact with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii to monitor the tsunami risk to New Zealand, and report on any action needed in Tonga or other Pacific islands. In the event there was no risk to New Zealand and no warning was issued in New Zealand.

Civil Defence Minister Rick Barker says the Ministry’s response to the tsunami alert itself was effective. There are regular warnings or alerts about possible tsunamis – about a dozen a year.

Mr Barker said that “this is the first time foreign media reporting has caused such problems.

“It would have been much better this morning if we had realised sooner what was being reported internationally and immediately alerted all New Zealand authorities and media what was really happening.

"Clearly, had the situation been reported accurately, there would have been no problem. We need to do more to guard against such misreporting," he said.

“The Ministry will be looking carefully at the dissemination of information to the media and all our Civil Defence partners. The provision of authorised reports from the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management may be the best guard agains inaacurate and misleading reports that unnecessarily alarm the public.

We will also be looking at better ways of telling New Zealanders and the New Zealand media that there is no emergency when warnings and alerts have been withdrawn or downgraded," he said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>

 

BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>

ALSO:

Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>

ALSO:

State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages