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Civil Defence a community partnership

Civil Defence a community partnership

Preparedness - both within our communities and at local and central government level - is essential to keeping our families safe in the aftermath of a disaster, says Labour's Civil Defence spokesperson Kris Faafoi.

"Labour's Civil Defence policy, released today, is based on the heightened awareness generated by the devastating Canterbury earthquakes as well as the lessons learnt from the Rena oil spill, to more actively engage the community in emergency response and recovery," Kris Faafoi said.

"The building blocks of recovery begin in the home. Communities need to take responsibility for disaster preparedness and be rewarded with inclusion in local and central government processes.

"Labour will ensure that recovery planning is embedded by reviewing existing public awareness campaigns and making sure schools resources are up to date and relevant.

"While our immediate response to the Canterbury quakes was laudable, the transition to the recovery process was stalled and fragmented. Labour will use the Canterbury earthquake response as a case study to review the performance of our services and will review Civil Defence legislation if required.

"What we have learnt from the Canterbury quakes and the Rena oil spill is that there is a greater need to link volunteer efforts with the official response. Labour will build on the obvious strength of the volunteer sector to ensure that volunteer networks are sustainable, safe and in-sync with Civil Defence.

"Labour will instigate a nationwide Emergency Management Development Programme to train staff, and partner with tertiary training providers to ensure volunteers have access to quality training and resources.

"People are the most valuable resource in time of disaster, Labour is committed to supporting them to be as well-prepared as they can be," Kris Faafoi said.

"New Zealand also needs to be present on the global stage to contribute knowledge internationally and to learn from the experience of others. Labour will ensure there is more support for Civil Defence staff to gain international emergency experience.

"While education and training are important there is nothing that better prepares a community for disaster than well-established community leadership, and transparent communication with local authorities. "Labour will restore the focus on empowering communities so that they can not only respond but can own their own recovery," Kris Faafoi said.

Authorised by: Kris Faafoi, MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

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