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Thanks for the spin - but why two stories?

John Carter MP
National Party Civil Defence Spokesman

02 October 2006

Thanks for the spin - but why two stories?

National Party Civil Defence spokesman John Carter says Rick Barker’s completely failed to give any explanation about the contradictory comments made after Exercise Pacific Wave in May.

“Stop your waffle and answer the question Mr Barker. Why did your department say Exercise Pacific Wave was a roaring success in May, yet official documents catalogue a range of serious issues with the handling of that exercise?”

Mr Carter suspects the Minister has been trying to put some distance between the appalling handling of the tsunami false alarm, and the bad news from Exercise Pacific Wave.

“The Minister knows like I do, that back in May anything other than a success story from the exercise would have compounded the embarrassment caused by the botched handling of the tsunami false alarm days earlier.

“The Minister still needs to explain why his department said the ‘exercise shows that New Zealand can be confident that the arrangements in place are robust and our procedures worked well ’in May, while official papers say response times may have been lengthened, the public were given ‘mixed messages’, and staff shortages posed an ‘unacceptably high’ risk.

“Surely both statements can’t be right.”


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