Minister praises response to Fehi, fires

 Minister of Civil Defence Hon Kris Faafoi has acknowledged the efforts of authorities and the communities responding to the storm and fire events that swept many parts of the country this week.

 “It’s been a challenging 48 hours, and what’s come through is the resilient spirit of our communities,” he says.

 “We have seen a coordinated effort by everyone involved, and it’s been heartening to see how communities have banded together to look after each other.”

 Mr Faafoi says local authorities and Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups were well prepared for Ex-Tropical Cyclone Fehi, and responded effectively.

 “I have been in touch with a number of mayors and local civil defence personnel, as well as my colleagues with electorates who have been affected. In every case I’ve been hearing positive feedback as to how the local groups have managed in diverse circumstances.

 “I think this shows that as a system we stand up well when we need to and that’s all down to the individuals who get out there and get to work in difficult times. I want to thank all involved for their ongoing efforts.”

 Mr Faafoi says emergency services across the country have been also outstanding in supporting response efforts and keeping people safe, as have the Ministry for Civil Defence and Emergency Management staff who have been active in the lead up to and during the events.

 “The priority now is looking after those who have been displaced or impacted, assessing damage to buildings and structures, and re-establishing road links and electricity.

 “I want to reassure those affected that we will be staying in touch with your mayors and community to see if there’s any additional help needed from the Ministry and from Government.”

 Contact: Lindsey Birnie 021 814 025