Nearly $900k to boost civil defence response projects

4:46 pm on 28 February 2019

Projects to improve the response to civil defence emergencies and the resilience of people living in the regions have been given a funding boost by the government.

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Quake-damaged building in Christchurch. Photo: 123rf

Just under $900,000 was available in a contestable fund for these projects, with $670,000 being awarded, Civil Defence Minister Kris Faafoi said.

"These grants will enable innovative, collaborative initiatives to happen, providing the sector with better tools to help keep Kiwi communities safe," he said.

Hawke's Bay received the bulk of the funding this year with a programme testing the region's response to an earthquake or tsunami generated by the Hikurangi subduction zone receiving $250,000.

A further $100,000 will be spent better preparing Māori communities for emergencies, and $70,000 to develop a public education plan preparing at-risk communities for tsunami evacuations.

Napier Mayor Bill Dalton, who was also chair of the Hawke's Bay civil defence emergency management group, said educating the public about which tsunami-zone they lived in was extremely important.

"So if the message comes out that everybody in the red zone should evacuate, people need to know which zone they're in. We want everybody to know that now, but we'll keep thumping the message."

Mr Faafoi said the importance of building resilience with local iwi was one of the lessons learned about the Kaikōura earthquake in 2016.

Civil defence projects in Waikato, Taranaki, Southland, Nelson-Tasman and Manawatu-Wanganaui regions will also funded.

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