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Assistance offered to Canterbury region

Hon Rick Barker
Minister of Civil Defence

15 June 2006
Media Release

Assistance offered to Canterbury region

Civil Defence Minister Rick Barker offered the support of the military to help civil defence activities in the Canterbury region on a visit to the region this morning.

"I met with Canterbury Civil Defence and Emergency Management (CDEM) officials and saw first hand the conditions facing the Canterbury region after severe weather conditions hit earlier this week.

"To help with local efforts, this morning I offered the support of military personnel and equipment," said Mr Barker.

Local Civil Defence staff and military personnel will work together to ensure residents are fine and, if necessary, prepared for the next weather change. Extra generators, two RNZAF Iroquois Helicopters, and UNIMOGs have also been made available to assist regional efforts.

"The response, coordination and preparedness of the Canterbury CDEM Group has enabled a swift, comprehensive and reassuring response.

"Staff from Civil Defence, Local Government, power companies and Telecom, and volunteers, are to be applauded for the long hours they have worked in what are essentially Antarctic conditions.

"Although a Civil Defence Emergency hasn't been declared, all and every assistance is on its way; as well as this, we are constantly monitoring the situation in the region and will do what we can when we need to.

"Snow is retreating more slowly than expected and the damage to infrastructure is worse than anticipated. The recovery phase needs to be hurried as an incoming front is on the way.

'We have to assume the worst and do all that can be done before the front arrives," said Mr Barker.

ENDS

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