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Significant progress since Exercise Pacific Wave

Hon Rick Barker
Minister of Civil Defence

2 October 2006
Media Release
Significant progress since Exercise Pacific Wave

Civil Defence Minister Rick Barker said today that National MP John Carter needs to get up with the play on civil defence issues.

"The reality is that Exercise Pacific Wave was in May and there's been a great deal of progress made since then building the capability of the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management," said Rick Barker.

"The Exercise Pacific Wave report referred to in today's Dominion Post is also old news. In fact Radio New Zealand had a copy of the report for their 'Insight' programme on 27th August.

"At the time of Exercise Pacific Wave the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management had 23 full time staff. It now has 38.

"Additional staff are currently being appointed and this will take total staff numbers to the full complement of 49.5 by early next year. This will mean that staffing levels will be more than double that at the time of the exercise.

"Should a large scale emergency arise there are substantial people resources readily available to the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, including staff from the Department of Internal Affairs, Defence and the Fire Service.

"Exercises such as Pacific Wave are done to identify areas requiring further improvement. They are a great opportunity to test what works well and what doesn't. The upcoming Capital Quake exercise will identify further areas for improvement.

"We have made far-reaching changes to the Civil Defence and Emergency Management sector at both the national and local level, and have embarked on a major public education campaign. These changes are resulting in significant improvements in our Civil Defence capability," said Rick Barker.

ENDS

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