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Barker should go - John Carter

John Carter MP
National Party Civil Defence Spokesman

Barker should go - John Carter

“Rick Barker’s made too many mistakes in too short a time to retain his position as Civil Defence Minister,” says National Party Civil Defence spokesman John Carter.

“For Rick Barker to say that it took five days for the Army to assist South Cantabrians during their time of ‘snow crisis’ because local officials did not ask shows his own and his department’s lack of leadership.

“Helen Clark tells us in the end, it was she who asked the Minister to get his backside into gear.

“It’s an insult to the public’s intelligence for him now to admit Civil Defence is not up to scratch, then launch an ‘education’ exercise because, according to him, the delays were all the fault of local officials.

“The Ministry of Civil Defence is the lead agency in matters of civil disaster, and the Minister is where the buck stops.

“Rick Barker’s handling of the South Canterbury situation once again shows his incompetence in a matter of serious public safety. It comes far too soon after his bungled handling of the tsunami alarm.

“Prime Minister Helen Clark should stop defending his incompetence,” says Mr Carter.

“In a bizarre twist, I am starting to hear cries of bring back George (Hawkins), the previous minister. Things are that serious!
“Rick Barker should step down and let somebody competent handle the Civil Defence portfolio,” Mr Carter says.


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