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EQC to Fund an Annual $3 Million Boost to GeoNet

News Release
27 June 2005

EQC to Fund an Annual $3 Million Boost to Geological Monitoring System


The Earthquake Commission's commitment of an extra $3 million a year to GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazard monitoring system, will improve the country's ability to recover from major natural disasters, says Commission Chairman Neville Young.

The increase in funding was announced by the Minister of Finance Michael Cullen in Wellington today.

"The collaboration between the Commission and Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS), which runs the system, has been an excellent example of how two government organisations can work together for the benefit of the whole country," Mr Young said.

Since 2001, GeoNet has received $5 million a year from the Commission and while this funding has greatly improved the ability of scientists to monitor and understand the nature of geological activity in New Zealand, there remain areas of the country which require greater coverage.

"The extra funding will improve further New Zealand's readiness and ability to respond to an emergency," Mr Young said.

"Improved preparation makes for a quicker and less costly recovery from a major earthquake or volcanic eruption."

GNS Chairman Con Anastasiou said the dangers New Zealanders face from earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis are much greater than the experience of the last six decades would indicate.

" A fully complete network of instruments and an enhanced modern data centre will provide planners, emergency managers and researchers with essential insights into New Zealand's geological hazards and risk while at the same time providing quick and accurate information during emergencies."

The director of the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management, John Norton, says that the Ministry has been a strong advocate for the increased funding and has supported the GeoNet concept from its inception.

"The GeoNet information is critical both for real-time monitoring as an event occurs and for hazard information to inform risk reduction initiatives."

ENDS


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