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Emergency Services Chief Executives welcome the build phase of New Zealand’s new Public Safety Network

Following is a joint statement from Andrew Coster, Commissioner, New Zealand Police; Kerry Gregory, Chief Executive, Fire and Emergency New Zealand; Peter Bradley, Chief Executive, Hato Hone St John; and Dave Robinson, Chief Executive, Wellington Free Ambulance.

We welcome today’s announcement [1] confirming build is underway of the new Public Safety Network Te Kupenga Marutau - Government’s new digital communications network for emergency services.

The Public Safety Network will provide our emergency services with a single nationwide secure digital radio service, and multi-network priority cellular broadband capability - including voice, video, messaging and data - in urban, state highway and rural areas commonly accessed by our frontline staff.

The new Public Safety Network is hugely significant for the ongoing safety of our people, and the solutions and services we will be able to adopt to do our jobs and serve our communities.

New Zealand’s Emergency Services are made up of approximately 35,000 staff and volunteers who attend over 5 million calls for help every year. When our people are out doing their job, from small incidents through to large scale multi-agency responses, we want to make sure they have what they need. The Public Safety Network will ensure our people are able to respond at any time, and in any place based on secure, accurate and timely information.

The Public Safety Network will support our respective services to continue collaborating with each other on everyday responses but also help us prepare for a likely future of more climate-related emergencies.

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It gives us enormous confidence to know the Public Safety Network has been designed to operate as the ‘last network standing’ in the event of a significant natural disaster, and that emergency services will have priority network access in such an event where there is congestion and degradation.

We welcome the vendors who will build and manage the Public Safety Network and acknowledge their internationally recognised skills and experience. After an extensive global search and robust procurement process led by Next Generation Critical Communications and Crown Infrastructure Partners, Tait Kordia Joint Venture (a joint venture between Tait Communications and Kordia) will build and run the Digital Land Mobile Radio network, and Hourua (a Vodafone/Spark joint venture) will build and run the Prioritised Cellular Services and Roaming solution. We look forward to working with Tait Kordia and Hourua as significant partners.

While the Public Safety Network is being built, we will continue to be well-supported by our current communication networks. We acknowledge the skills and dedication of our staff who run these communications services.

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