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Statement from the Governor-General Regarding Earthquake

Statement from the Governor-General Regarding Christchurch Earthquake

It is with great sadness, but with full understanding, that my wife Susan and I have received advice of the change in focus of the response to the Christchurch earthquake, from rescue to recovery.

The authorities in Christchurch, drawing on expert advice both in New Zealand and from further afield, have made this difficult decision. For more than a week, we have joined with the families and friends of those missing in hoping for a miracle, that people would be pulled from the rubble alive. We must now confront the bitter reality that the possibility that further survivors might be rescued is now very small indeed.

When we visited Christchurch last Sunday we were both shocked by the level of devastation. However, we were also heartened by the professional work at the Emergency Operations Centre and the work of the Urban Search and Rescue teams from New Zealand, and elsewhere. Additionally, everyone has been impressed with the bravery of those ordinary New Zealanders who, in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, risked their own lives to pull trapped people from shattered buildings. In the difficult period since, we have seen dedicated, highly professional efforts being made to search for the living and to recover the remains of those lost.

The thoughts of all New Zealanders are with the people of Christchurch and all those grieving for the loss of their loved ones. We all have our connections to Christchurch. New Zealand, as a single family, stands with them at this time of great loss. Kia kaha.

Rt Hon Sir Anand Satyanand
Governor-General of New Zealand

ENDS

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