Minister in Christchurch to discuss better responses to emergencies

Minister of Civil Defence Kris Faafoi says he expects to learn a lot from today’s visit to Christchurch, as he seeks feedback from the region on how Civil Defence Emergency Management can be improved to better serve New Zealanders in the future.

Mr Faafoi is meeting with Christchurch’s Mayor, Lianne Dalziel, the Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group, Environment Canterbury (ECAN), Lincoln University students, and Ngāi Tahu.

“No region has had more experience in recent years dealing with emergencies than Canterbury. I’m here to listen, and to gather as much feedback as possible about how we can improve our system to protect New Zealanders from natural disasters and other emergencies.”

In January Mr Faafoi has released a report into how New Zealand responds to natural disasters and emergencies. The Ministerial Review - ‘Better Responses to Natural Disasters and other Emergencies in New Zealand’. A technical advisory group (TAG) was formed to provide advice on the most appropriate operational and legislative mechanisms to support effective responses to natural disasters and other emergencies.

Mr Faafoi says he hopes to be in a position to confirm the Government response to the TAG recommendations later this year.

“The current system stands up well when we need it, and has done so throughout the pressures, issues and challenges in recent years. But it is clear more must be done, particularly given the increasing events we have experienced.”

Mr Faafoi says as well as listening to input from Christchurch, he is there to acknowledge the commendable efforts and ongoing dedication of the region in preparing for and responding to a number of challenging and tragic emergencies.

“These emergencies have prompted the Government to ask how such efforts can be better supported, and I’ll be eager to hear their thoughts on the recommendations of the Ministerial review into disaster and emergency responses.”

The full TAG report and submissions can be found here.