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Improving business resilience key focus of conference

Hon Nikki Kaye

Minister of Civil Defence

25 February 2013       Media Statement       

Improving business resilience key focus of conference

Collaboration between the public and private sectors improves emergency preparedness, Civil Defence Nikki Kaye said today at the annual Emergency Management Conference in Wellington.

“It is significant that this conference has been combined with the Business Resilience Summit for the first time this year,” Ms Kaye says.

“This is part of civil defence emergency management (CDEM) building better links with small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and improving New Zealand’s overall business resilience.

“The conference will cover a number of areas related to business resilience planning including: Corporate citizenship and the integration of mid to large businesses into early response planning stages; With a new technology to a faster recovery of business; and The role of fuel supply chain in case of emergencies.

“The devastating impact that disasters have on these businesses was abundantly clear after the Canterbury earthquakes. SMEs can also have business interruptions after emergencies like storms and flooding.

“Without many SMEs operating, the community at large will suffer. So it is important that CDEM and SMEs work together on planning for business continuity during and after emergency events and major disasters.”

SMEs make up about 97 per cent of all enterprise in New Zealand and contribute an estimated 27.8 per cent to New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product.

“These businesses are a crucial part of our communities. Yet CDEM has not previously had strong links with them. I hope this combined conference will change that,” Ms Kaye says.

“CDEM links and planning with lifeline utilities, large businesses and business organisations are well established. They have proved their worth in Christchurch, and in other emergencies before and after the February 2011 earthquake.

“Public education campaigns, run by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM) and EQC are creating public awareness. Councils and regional CDEM Groups increasingly include community involvement in CDEM planning and preparedness.

“Working with SMEs with a focus on business resilience is an integral part of civil defence planning and will enable us to build more resilient communities,” Ms Kaye says.

ENDS

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