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TV to carry civil defence messages

Hon Rick Barker
Minister of Civil Defence

14 December 2006
Media Release
TV to carry civil defence messages

Civil Defence Minister Rick Barker has congratulated Television New Zealand and TV3 on becoming the latest broadcasters to agree to carry official civil defence messages during an emergency.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management and Television New Zealand and CanWest Media Works was signed today in Auckland.

“Today’s signing means all New Zealand’s major broadcasters have now agreed on a procedure to carry official messages from civil defence authorities, before and during an emergency,” said Rick Barker.

Earlier this year, the Ministry signed an agreement for the broadcast of emergency messages with Radio New Zealand and with the Radio Broadcasters Association on behalf of the Classic Hits, More FM, Newstalk ZB, Radio Live, Rhema and Mai Media networks.

“The safety of all New Zealanders can only be enhanced as a result of these agreements and broadcasters, both radio and television, are to be commended for their enthusiasm to enter into a partnership with civil defence authorities,” Rick Barker said.

“Last month’s Exercise Capital Quake, the biggest civil defence exercise ever held in New Zealand, graphically illustrated just how catastrophic a major earthquake could be. It's vital that timely, authoritative messages are communicated to the public and I was pleased to note the participation of the radio networks and TVNZ in the exercise.

“Capital Quake started the process of developing, testing and refining arrangements for a ‘national’ response to emergencies, in which the cooperation of national media plays a vital part.

“We’ve been telling people to ‘listen to your radio’ in an emergency for a long time but we can now add: ‘or turn on your TV.

"It's crucial that in a civil defence emergency good quality and accurate information is provided to the public.

"News websites are an important source of information for many New Zealanders and the next step will be to approach print media to develop a Memorandum of Understanding," said Rick Barker.

ENDS

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