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Faster warnings for Civil Defence

Hon Rick Barker
Minister of Civil Defence

9 April 2008

Faster warnings for Civil Defence and Emergency Management

Civil Defence Minister, Rick Barker, today launched the new 24/7 Civil Defence Emergency Management Warning and Advisory system.

Through an arrangement between the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management and the New Zealand Fire Service, the Fire Service will provide a 24/7 monitoring service and in pre-determined situations, issue national warnings and advisories from their Northern Communication Centre.

"We will now have a permanently staffed 24/7 communication centre receiving and issuing initial emergency information, and supporting the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management's on call team," Mr Barker said.

"In the event of a civil defence emergency, the government’s response needs to be as prompt and effective as possible and the 24/7 system is about achieving that.

"As a result of the initiative, agencies, local Councils and the civil defence and emergency management sector will now get faster warnings of impending emergencies and this will in turn result in faster, clearer information for the public. This will also mean they can start their own responses and preparing their communities sooner."

Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management Director, John Hamilton, and National Commander of the New Zealand Fire Service, Mike Hall, were on hand at the launch to demonstrate the new capability and have both welcomed the initiative.

"The new system will also mean that more people are available to react to information about an emergency, and the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management's on call team will be freed up to focus immediately on other national and local response activities.

"This new 24/7 communication centre and the agreement between Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management and the New Zealand Fire Service is a major step forward for the sector's ability to distribute information and respond to a civil defence event or emergency," Mr Barker said.


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