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Government Monitoring Central Otago Flooding

The Ministry for Emergency Management has sent one of its South Island staffers to liaise with the flood-affected districts of Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes, the Minister of Civil Defence, Jack Elder, said today.

This follows the declaration of a local civil defence emergency by the Central Otago District Council at 8.30a.m. The declaration covers Cromwell, Alexandra, Roxburgh, Earnslaw and Manukeriki, where evacuation of residents is likely.

Queenstown Lakes District Council has not declared an emergency as it is able to manage the flooding without requiring any extra powers.

Mr Elder said whenever a civil defence emergency has been declared, or is likely to be declared, the Ministry sends one or more of its people to support the local efforts and to act as a channel for information between the government and the territorial authorities concerned.

"As Minister I am carefully monitoring the situation and keeping the Prime Minister, Jenny Shipley and the local member, Treasurer Bill English informed," he said. "All measures to ensure the safety of residents are being taken.

"I note that the two district councils are doing an excellent job managing one of the largest floods they have faced in recent history."

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