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Civil Defence inadequacies unacceptable

Hon Nick Smith National Party MP

4 May 2006

Civil Defence inadequacies unacceptable

An urgent and independent review of Civil Defence and emergency management is required in the wake of the failure of communications this morning over the Gisborne tsunami warning, says National Party MP Nick Smith.

"It is just not good enough to have Civil Defence sitting on information for hours while New Zealanders are fearing for their lives and running for the hills.

"There is no excuse for a three-hour delay in the release of any statement from Civil Defence.

"That media were not able to make contact with anyone from Civil Defence because of incorrect phone numbers shows just how unprepared the Government is for a civil emergency.

"It is unbelievable that after more than 200,000 people lost their lives 18 months ago in a tsunami, our own response systems are so inadequate.

"It is no wonder councils all over the country are angry and frustrated at this morning's debacle.

"The Minister should apologise to the public, police and councils for the inconvenience caused by this morning's failure, and initiate an inquiry to ensure future responses are timely and effective," says Dr Smith.

ENDS


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