States of emergency extended in Canterbury

  • John Carter
Civil Defence Earthquake Recovery

States of emergency in the three Canterbury districts worst affected by the 4 September earthquake will remain in place until 12 noon Thursday 16 September, Civil Defence Minister John Carter said today.

"There were plans to lift the states of emergency in Christchurch, Waimakariri and Selwyn today. However, Mayors in the affected areas have decided to retain the declaration to ensure a smooth and safe transition from states of emergency to a state of urgency across the districts," Mr Carter said.

"Safety is still the top priority and Civil Defence officials and the three Mayors believe it is important to err on the side of caution by extending the states of emergency across the three districts until 12 noon tomorrow.

"From tomorrow 12 noon, Mayors and Civil Defence officials who have had a lead role in managing the earthquake response in the three districts through the past 10 days will step back from that immediate response role. In the recovery phase they will assist Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and the Earthquake Recovery Commission.

"The mayors and Civil Defence personnel have done an extraordinary job during the past 10 days, often in very difficult circumstances and I have nothing but praise for their work."