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Informal poll should worry Barker

John Carter MP
National Party Civil Defence Spokesman

05 October 2006

Informal poll should worry Barker

National Party Civil Defence spokesman John Carter says Rick Barker should be worried by the results of an informal internet poll that asked about confidence in Civil Defence.

“Only 5.4% of people were prepared to say that they were ‘very confident’ in Civil Defence’s ability to handle a disaster, while the majority (53.9%) said they were not confident at all.”

The internet poll featured on the Stuff website this week, after revelations in official documents of serious issues in the aftermath of ‘Exercise Pacific Wave’ during May.

“Mr Barker did not help confidence in his department when he tried to blame the BBC for the botched handling of the tsunami false alarm, or when he wrongly claimed the success of the exercise in May had put the earlier problems to bed.”

Mr Carter says Labour’s stubborn refusal to accept criticism of its emergency management plan is a classic symptom of an arrogant third-term Government which refuses to accept any view other than its own.

“What Mr Barker’s given us instead is a pricey advertising campaign, a new website and a whole lot of hot air. The slump in confidence should be viewed as a serious indictment on him - as a guardian of community safety - in the event of a tragedy.

“The only way it could get worse for Mr Barker is if disaster does strike - and he is caught napping again,” says Mr Carter.


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