Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Rational science crucial to earthquake response

Hon Dr Nick Smith
Member of Parliament for Nelson

20 March 2011 Media Release
Rational science crucial to earthquake response

New Zealand must dismiss the bogus claims of people like Ken Ring who predict earthquakes and ensure future decisions on risk are made on rational science, Nelson MP and geotechnical engineer Nick Smith says.

Dr Smith today attended the New Zealand Skeptics ‘non event’ lunch at the Sign of the Kiwi tearooms on top of the Port Hills in Christchurch.

“It is reckless and irresponsible for people like Ken Ring to be speculating on the timing of future major earthquakes with no scientific basis. Cantabrians have been through enough trauma without charlatans preying on people’s natural fears,” Dr Smith said.

“I can appreciate that people are frustrated that scientists and engineers cannot give black and white assurances on if and when another major quake may occur, but false claims only make the situation worse. The best assurance that science is able to give is that the probability of another significant quake reduces with each week that passes following a major quake. The advice from GNS is the risk of a quake greater than magnitude six in Christchurch is now similar to that in Wellington and in matter of months will be less.

“Science and engineering have hugely improved the survival rate from earthquakes. The Napier earthquake of 1931 killed 256 people in Napier and Hastings out of a population of 27,000 (approximately one in 100) whereas the similar sized Christchurch earthquake is estimated to have killed 180 out of a population of 375,000 (approximately one in 2000).

“We can continue to reduce the risks and save more lives but, as the tragic events in Japan have shown, we can never eliminate all loss of life from major earthquakes. The key to reducing the risks is not in the scaremongering from the likes of Ken Ring but investing in the next generation of young scientists and engineers to improve our knowledge and understanding of earthquakes and the design of buildings and infrastructure to better withstand them.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

South Island Flooding: Focus Moves To Recovery

As water recedes throughout flood-impacted areas of the South Island, Minister of Civil Defence Nathan Guy has praised the efforts of those who were involved in the response to the flooding.

“Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups have acted proactively and decisively to keep people and property out of harm’s way,” says Mr Guy. More>>

 

Employers Pleased: Reports Of Govt Backdown On Low-Wage Immigration

MEA: We are pleased to hear that the Government is planning to review incoming immigration changes with a specific focus on how they will affect the regions. Effectively addressing skills shortages in manufacturing and other sectors needs to remain a core part of our immigration system ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Ch-Ch-Changes At IRD

Job cuts aren’t happening at the IRD, exactly. Instead, there’s apparently a ‘transformation’ in store, and jobs won’t be axed ; no, they will be ‘transformed’ before our eyes into… non-jobs, if you happen to be among the unlucky legion of 1,900 who are being lined up for transformation... More>>

ALSO:

Christchurch Mental Health: Hospital Too 'Awful' For Reviewers To Visit

Jonathan Coleman has to stop the stalling over a new building for mental health services in Christchurch to replace the quake damaged Princess Margaret Hospital, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark... More>>

ALSO:

Greens Call For Govt Action: Children Sick Because Of NZ Housing

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians president-elect said today that children with preventable respiratory illnesses are being re-admitted to hospital because they're being sent back to cold, damp homes. More>>

ALSO:

Less Tax Cut, More Spending: Labour Launches Fiscal Plan

“Labour will invest $8 billion more in health, $4 billion more in education and $5 billion more for Kiwi families through Working for Families, Best Start and the Winter Energy Payment than the Budget 2017 projections for the forecast period.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Greens’ Room For Political Pragmatism

The Greens here are currently being criticized by the commentariat for not making the same kind of pragmatic choices that sunk the Democrats in Australia. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election