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New Moves To Protect Communities from Disaster

Media Release
Hon Jack Elder
Minister of Civil Defence

5 August 1999

NEW MOVES TO PROTECT COMMUNITIES FROM DISASTER

The Government is moving to improve and update New Zealand's emergency management framework, the Minister of Civil Defence, Jack Elder, announced today. Policy proposals have been approved for legislation to repeal and replace the Civil Defence Act 1983.

A new Ministry for Emergency Management has been created to provide leadership to the emergency and civil defence sector. Civil defence will remain core business of the ministry, Mr Elder told a function celebrating 10 years of the Wellington Lifelines project.

"It is important to understand the meaning of 'emergency management'," he said. "It places much greater emphasis on removing or reducing the hazards and risks that threaten our communities. It will involve a number of sectors, whose activities impact on emergency management outcomes, consulting and working more closely together.

"Emergency management takes a more comprehensive approach to ensuring that populations are safe and resilient and the social and economic impacts of hazards are minimised. The proposals are all about doing much more than just preparing for, responding to and trying to recover from emergencies.

"It will mean individuals, enterprise and communities working proactively to reduce or to eliminate adverse effects. It will see local authority emergency management groups working in partnership with emergency services, lifeline utilities and others."

Mr Elder said he hoped the legislation would be introduced before the end of the current Parliamentary session.

ENDS

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