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Civil Defence review gets three months

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/04/2017

Top police, fire, civil defence and Defence Force officials have been appointed to a panel which will have just over three months to come up with new ideas to bring Civil Defence into the 21st Century.

Civil Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee announced the group's members on Sunday after shortcomings were exposed by the recent Port Hills fires and the November Kaikoura earthquake.

"Civil Defence has operated under the structure that civil defence is 'undertaken locally, coordinated regionally and supported from the national level'. It's been this way since 1959 and whether this way of operating is still fit-for-purpose needs to be scrutinised," Mr Brownlee said.

Described as a "technical advisory group", it will have its first meeting in the week starting May 22.

Mr Brownlee said he anticipated it would have made its recommendations to him by the end of August.

Former cabinet minister Roger Sowry will chair the group and it includes Local Government NZ boss Malcolm Alexander, police Assistant Commissioner Mike Rusbatch, Fire Service Deputy National Commander Kerry Gregory, Major General Tim Gall and Civil Defence director Sarah Stuart-Black.

Mr Brownlee stressed the need for a review was not intended to criticise volunteer efforts.

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