Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Prime Minister Key to account for civil defence failure

22 February, 2013

Prime Minister Key to account for civil defence failure

The New Zealand Prime Minister owes a personal debt to those left unprotected and who died in the Canterbury earthquakes, a former regional councillor claims. Rik Tindall was the last community representative for Civil Defence and Emergency Management (CDEM) at Environment Canterbury (ECan), before PM Key's move to accelerate commercial irrigation in the region displaced the elected, accountable council.

Mismanagement of CDEM, under Key's tasked ECan commission, left an organisational deficit after the 4 September 2010 quake that turned catastrophic come 22 February 2011, Tindall believes. “Key's culpability for deficient emergency response is very strong.”

Dismantling of the regional council and its CDEM capacity contributed to the scale of the tragedy, Tindall explains. “Event analysis, fair warning and preparation were stifled, to maintain business-as-usual in commercial Christchurch at the expense of public safety. As with the wreckage of ECan, Mayor Parker shared credit for civil defence disaster with the Prime Minister, but now adding promotional camera angles,” he says.

“A national emergency was called by Key after the 22 February quake, in an attempt to cover for the lost regional capacity to respond to a regional crisis. But the sudden, off-focus, ad hoc arrangements could not work so well as years of preparation might have indicated,” Tindall explains. “For example, the absence of the NZ Defence Force (NZDF) – apart from medics – from the CTV building rescue doomed it to failure; that was a connection expected through ECan CDEM, that never eventuated. City CDEM was under-resourced for what wasn't their job, creating foolhardy confusion and lost opportunity to save lives.”

Tindall sees the blame being shifted onto NZ Fire Service (NZFS) administration and its Urban Search and Rescue wing as passing the buck appallingly. “Late 2012's Canterbury Television inquest had that objectionable flavour, with NZFS in Wellington irrelevantly brought under scrutiny and NZDF notable for their absence as participant witnesses,” Tindall points out. “City CDEM had little functionality, in the event.”

“Let us remember the 185 lives lost in Christchurch, and respect them by bringing justice over their official abandonment,” Tindall says.

“With John Key’s personal fortune reported at fifty million dollars, he can afford to compensate the families of those whose lives his CDEM incompetence and hubris wasted, to the tune of $270,270.27 each. This he should immediately announce and pay, at this anniversary,” Tindall recommends.

“The take-home, 22 February 2013, Christchurch message for John Key is: 'Gamble with peoples' well-being, as you have so casually in Canterbury, and you lose; big time.'”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>

ALSO:

Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

ALSO:

With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>

ALSO:

Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>

ALSO:

Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news