(CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND) – Civil Defence Minister John Carter has today extended the state of national emergency for a further seven days in the aftermath of the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch on 22 February.
The state of national emergency in New Zealand was declared on 23 February and first extended on 1 March. It is expected to continue for several more weeks, Mr Carter said.
“This extension has been made on the advice of the Civil Defence Emergency Management National Controller John Hamilton, and in consultation with the Prime Minister, Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and the Mayor of Christchurch City Bob Parker,” Mr Carter said.
“This is the first time in New Zealand’s history that a state of national emergency has been declared as a result of a civil defence emergency event. The ongoing impact of the earthquake on 22 February, and the continuing aftershocks, is of such an extent that a combined effort from across the nation will be required for some time.
“The declaration of the state of national emergency ensures the maximum possible co-ordination and co-operation between central and local resources and international assistance. It also demonstrates the Government’s ongoing commitment to help people in Canterbury to respond to this disaster.
“Under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act, this declaration means the National Controller will continue to control the exercise and performance of functions, duties, and powers of the Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups and Group controller. He works in consultation with central government and local authorities, including the Mayor.
“This is a difficult time for the people in Canterbury and everyone involved in recovery work is pulling out all stops to ensure their safety and security.”