23 Apr 2024

Emergency management system has 'significant shortcomings' - inquiry

From Nine To Noon, 9:05 am on 23 April 2024
A ruined apple crop at Pheasant Farm, Esk Valley.

A ruined apple crop at Pheasant Farm, Esk Valley. Photo: RNZ / Jemima Huston

An inquiry into the response to last year's catastrophic North Island storms that killed 15 people has found the country's emergency management system is not fit for purpose

The inquiry - chaired by former Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae - found the country is not ready to respond to large-scale emergencies.

The review includes responses to the Auckland Anniversary Day floods, as well as Cyclones Hale and Gabrielle. In some places the system failed completely and people weren't able to prepare or respond to the disaster around them.

Public warnings and communication were non-existent or insufficient. And the capability and capacity of civil defence staff and infrastructure was overestimated or lacking.

Communities told the inquiry they felt completely let down. RNZ journalist Lauren Crimp has been reading through the report.