Minister Emphasises Importance of Child Safety in Civil Defence

  • Jack Elder
Civil Defence

The Minister of Civil Defence, Jack Elder, has asked the Ministry of Civil Defence to give emphasis in its emergency planning to child safety and the development of international relations.

Addressing a conference of emergency managers in Wellington Mr Elder reminded the group more must be done to ensure that when children are away from their parents there are contingency plans and the capability to protect them.

"This usually means when they're at school," Mr Elder said, "so you can understand my concern at reports of a significant number of schools failing to meet civil defence emergency standards. "

Mr Elder also said he is keen to see Civil Defence further develop international relationships and co-operation.

"I think it is very wise and good insurance if we look to establish a network of international relationships," Mr Elder said. "This would ensure we have the specialised knowledge and equipment, for example, that may be required to rescue people caught in a major building collapse in an area like Wellington.

"The Civil Defence organisation has recently completed an agreement for civil defence co-operation with Australia and it could be to New Zealand's great advantage if we developed similar relationships with Japan and in particular the United States with its vast experience of natural catastrophes and its huge capability."