'Need to look at that chain of command' - Gerry Brownlee establishes advisory group to improve structure of Civil Defence




Civil Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee has revealed he's established an advisory group to look into the structure of Civil Defence, saying "I think there is a need to look at that chain of command."

Minister Gerry Brownlee has made no secret that he sees flaws in the system and he wants them ironed out.
Source: 1 NEWS

The Minister has been critical over the handling of disasters, particularly the Port Hills fire in February, when he lashed out over the time it took to declare a State of emergency in Christchurch, as huge fires muscled towards the city.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel and Mr Brownlee were at loggerheads during the disaster over when a State of emergency should have been declared.  

Speaking on TVNZ's Q+A programme this morning, Mr Brownlee said he has established a Technical Advisory Group to identify where improvements in New Zealand's Civil Defence structure could be made. 

"That group comprises people from police, from Defence, from Civil Defence and the fire service and they will consult with other services that are required to act in the circumstances of a civil emergency and also look at that structure to see how it works and how it might be improved," he said. 

Minister Gerry Brownlee has been critical over the handling and lines of communication during Christchurch’s Port Hills Fire.
Source: Q+A

"If you think back to the 50's communication is not as easy as it is today and it sometimes strikes me as a little odd that you are getting better news of an immediate situation from media outlets than you are getting in situation reports," he said. 

"I think the key to it though is the whole structure of how a civil emergency is declared and then what are the authorities, anybody who has responsibility in that carries."

The first meeting of the Technical Advisory Group will be in the week commencing 22 May. 

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