No Surprise In Civil Defence Findings
ACT New Zealand Civil Defence Spokesman Ken Shirley was today unsurprised by reports that the Civil Defence and
Emergency Management Ministry is incapable of adequately co-ordinating a response to major national disasters.
"The public also should not be surprised. Flooding in the lower North Island, earlier this year, highlighted the
Ministry's inability to provide adequate support and co-ordinate emergency responses across affected regions," Mr
"This situation was always predictable. In 1999, ACT opposed the Labour Government's move to implement a foolish,
bureaucratic, centralised structure on civil defence.
"I am appalled that the review recommends a further strengthening and expansion of the Ministry to cope with
large-scale disasters. What we have is not a result of inadequate funding, but of systemic failure.
"Pumping even more resources into this inappropriate structure is not the answer - in actual fact, it would likely
compound existing problems.
"The Government's attempt at centralisation in this area has been shown to have failed. The organisational control and
operational capacity of civil defence must reside at the regional level if efforts are to be effective in civil defence
issues," Mr Shirley said.