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Civil Defence review 'within weeks'

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 21/11/2016

A review of Civil Defence's response to the Kaikoura earthquake and subsequent tsunami threat could begin within weeks.

Director Sarah Stuart-Black says it's important to identify lessons to be learned, but the priority now is supporting communities who still need a hand.

She expects the review will begin "within weeks" and hopes it covers the whole of the response effort.

"We like to take a full approach to identifying all the lessons out of each part of any response effort so that we're able to take account of all of those and make sure any refinement and adjustments that are needed are able to be actioned as soon as possible," she said.

The formal scope of the review will likely be decided in conjunction with acting Civil Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee.

The review may also take into account lessons learned during Exercise Tangaroa in September, the Civil Defence nation-wide tsunami warning exercise.

Ms Stuart-Black said issues identified during that exercise applied to the Kaikoura earthquake response in the sense that the quake was complex and difficult to initially determine a tsunami threat.

She said that complexity was why baseline public tsunami information is that people should evacuate inland or to higher ground immediately after a strong or long and rolling earthquake.

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