Review into earthquake response released

Civil Defence Minister Chris Tremain says the independent review of the response to the 22 February Christchurch earthquake confirms the strength of our civil defence systems.

"The report concludes that, overall, the emergency response worked well. The earthquake was an unprecedented challenge and emergency services have been commended for their impressive overall response and courageous efforts," Mr Tremain says.

"The actions of voluntary groups also greatly reduced the level of hardship in the community. Other positive aspects of the response include the Government’s Earthquake Support Subsidy, and the health sector response, which the report recommends as a template for other regions to deal with emergencies.

"There is always room for improvement and the report identifies some issues that need attention. These include management and control of the response, and gaps in training, capability and communications.

"The Government has adopted four of the report’s six major recommendations. An action plan is being developed to address the 102 further recommendations, and will be finalised in November 2012.

"I would like to thank the reviewers for their work. Their report provides a good overview of the response to the earthquake, and will help us to strengthen our emergency management framework."