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Effects of climate change sparks call for more funding for NZ's emergency services

With more extreme weather events predicted in New Zealand because of climate change Fire and Emergency New Zealand says more Government funding for emergency services is needed.

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Chief executive Rhys Jones told TVNZ1’s Breakfast all emergency agencies will need to be funded more. Source: Breakfast

Rhys Jones, chief exec of Fire and Emergency New Zealand told TVNZ1’s Breakfast as an organisation they are ready, but there are things that people can do individually and responsibilities that councils and Government need to take for the country to be even more prepared for fire.

“I think the reality of climate change and the effect its going to have, the Government will have to continue putting money into the emergency response organisations," said Mr Jones.

"It’s not just us. The new National Emergency Management Agency and the Civil Defence Agencies – all agencies will actually need to be funded more to face the changing threat that’s going on over the decades ahead of us."

He said there are some operational changes needed to be even more prepared, and Fire and Emergency has already started.

“One of the things we’re doing internally in the organisation is we’re restructuring so there is a much better balance between the rural skills and the urban skills.

“Equally important is that the public and the communities need to also be able to understand this should be in as much of our DNA as earthquake responses and tsunami responses because it is going to become real.”