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Reviews of Civil Defence tsunami response released

Hon John Carter
Minister of Civil Defence

30 October 2009
Media Statement

Reviews of Civil Defence tsunami response released

Civil Defence Minister John Carter has released the reports of the internal and external reviews into the Ministry of Civil Defence’s response to the 30 September 2009 tsunami alert.

“Overall, the reviews show the response to the tsunami threat was good, but make a number of recommendations to improve future responses. That includes timely and co-ordinated communication with the media, which are important public conduits in the event of a civil defence operation,” says Mr Carter

The internal report is a comprehensive review conducted by the Ministry into its operational response to the alert. The external review primarily focused on the management of public information during the alert, and was conducted by Simon Murdoch, former Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“The internal review makes 20 recommendations and the Ministry has undertaken to adopt all of these. It had already addressed a number of the issues by the time of the 8 October tsunami alert, and is making good progress on implementing the other recommendations. The external review supports the Ministry’s recommendations, and makes a number of findings which will also be adopted.

“It is important we have the best possible civil defence and emergency management systems and support in place. I will work with the Ministry to ensure the necessary improvements are made so New Zealanders can continue to have confidence in the systems they will rely on for support in the event of a disaster or serious emergency.

“Given their importance in such situations, maintaining an ongoing and robust relationship between the Ministry and media organisations will be a crucial part of this process,” says Mr Carter.

The Ministry of Civil Defence’s review is available at$file/MCDEM-Internal Review-of-Samoa-Tsunami.pdf

The independent review is available at

External Review of Tsunami Response (pdf)

Internal Review of Tsunami Response (pdf)


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