Minister welcomes Chatham Islands wharf reopening and meets civil defence community

Minister of Civil Defence Hon Kris Faafoi says the reopening today of the Waitangi Wharf by Minister of Internal Affairs Hon Tracy Martin is a milestone that will improve the resilience of the Chatham Islands to natural disasters and other emergencies.

Mr Faafoi today celebrated the reopening of the redeveloped wharf with a number of his Parliamentary colleagues, iwi and the local community. The project has been led by the Department of Internal Affairs.

“Waitangi Wharf is a critical lifeline for the Chatham Islands, and this upgrade will provide greater security for the supply of vital supplies, such as diesel for the electricity grid, fuel for air services, and regular transport of basic essentials such as food. This means that when an emergency strikes, the Chathams will be better placed than ever before to get the supplies and help they need.”

Mr Faafoi is visiting the Chatham Islands today to visit the port and to discuss matters relating to his Civil Defence portfolio with the local council and community. Top of the agenda was the Ministerial Review looking at improving how New Zealand responds to natural disasters and other emergencies.

“I’m conscious that the Chatham Islands faces a number of unique challenges when it comes to emergency management, and I’m looking forward to hearing what community leaders have to say about how we manage emergencies more effectively.”

Mr Faafoi also recognised the efforts of Rana Solomon for her contribution to emergency management to the Chatham and Pitt Islands, through the presentation of an award recognising 10 years’ service to Civil Defence Emergency Management.

“As emergency manager, Rana has led the response to a number of serious incidents, including Cyclone Pam, tsunami and wildfire events.

“Rana has also led a wide range of initiatives to help improve the safety and resilience of communities on the Chatham and Pitt islands. It’s a privilege to recognise her commitment and dedication to keeping her community safe.”