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Still waiting for Barker’s apology

Hon. Dr Nick Smith MP

National Party Acting Civil Defence Spokesman

7 May 2006

Still waiting for Barker’s apology

National’s acting Civil Defence spokesman, Nick Smith, says the public and the media are still waiting for Rick Barker to apologise over his blame claim in relation to the botched reaction to last week’s tsunami warning.

“The Minister tried to blame everyone else. It’s time he admitted he was wrong and failed in his primary responsibility to keep New Zealand prepared for a disaster.

“It’s now clear that the media took all practical steps to get more information from Civil Defence and it was unfair for Mr Barker to blame them.

“It also appears the police were in the dark, as was Gisborne Hospital, which was reportedly calling in extra staff in case of an emergency.

“This was a fundamental breakdown in the emergency response process. The Minister can’t blame the BBC for his cock-up and he should apologise. We’re waiting,” says Dr Smith.

Ends

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