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National’s civil defence policy nothing new

National’s civil defence policy nothing new

Civil Defence Minister Rick Barker says National’s Civil Defence policy released over the weekend shows a lack of understanding of how Civil Defence and Emergency Management works.

“Despite attempting to criticise the government at every turn on Civil Defence, National has produced a policy that proposes nothing new whatsoever,” said Mr Barker.

National talk about joint delivery of civil defence and emergency services. Labour has done that.

Labour has ensured that under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act, Emergency Services are required to have representatives on CDEM Groups and participate actively in the development of Civil Defence plans. They are well integrated into emergency response planning.

National say they want to work more closely with community groups. Labour has done that too.

Under Labour, representatives of community organisations are also part of CDEM Groups. Every Group plan has to go through a public consultation process. Any hazard mitigation work has to be publicly consulted on. Community groups are well engaged in civil defence and emergency management planning.
“I’m also surprised that National has failed to make the critical link between public education and response. They don’t mention public awareness anywhere in their policy. Maybe they don’t think this is important.”

“This government has made sure New Zealanders are more prepared than ever before.”

Under Labour Civil Defence and Emergency Management has constantly improved. We now have a permanently staffed 24/7 communication centre receiving and issuing initial emergency information.

The Ministry is looking at ways to standardise warning systems around the country, and undertaking research and development into new ideas and technologies to continually improve public alerting systems.

“Nothing in National’s policy gives any real indication that they will do anything more than Labour already does for Civil Defence and Emergency Management. Except maybe require CDEM Groups to spend valuable time and resources producing more reports.”


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