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Minister pleased with response to extreme weather

Hon Rick Barker
Minister of Civil Defence

31 July 2008

Minister pleased with regional response to extreme weather

Civil Defence Minister Rick Barker has welcomed the regional response to the extreme weather being experienced up and down the country and extended his sympathy to the individuals and communities experiencing hardship.

"To date the response to the severe weather our communities are experiencing has been very good. Local authorities and emergency services are working hard. They are coping well and I am confident the situation is being well managed," Mr Barker said.

"In the first instance any Civil Defence event is managed at the local and regional level, in support of local efforts, the National Crisis Management Centre beneath the Beehive has been activated to monitor the situation and provide central government support if necessary.

"For some affected areas this is the second serious adverse weather event in a week and the response is testament to the preparedness of local people and authorities."

Minister Barker visited affected areas today, including the site at Torbay Bay on the North Shore where homes are threatened by subsidence.

"I have spoken to a number of the displaced families who have been forced to leave their homes as a result of severe weather and have expressed my sympathy and support," Mr Barker said.

"There now a lot of work to do cleaning up the damage and Civil Defence officials will be watching closely as the storm moves south.

"These events remind us all of the need to be prepared in case of a Civil Defence event or emergency and I would encourage all New Zealanders to visit www.getthru.govt.nz, and make sure they know what to do when disaster strikes."

Regional and local government Civil Defence and Emergency Management offices are working with welfare organisations to support the people who have been evacuated throughout the country. Those needing welfare support as a result of the storm should contact their local council or the government helpline 0800 779 997 for information about their nearest support services.

ENDS

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