New Zealanders value emergency alert system

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NZN

New Zealand's new emergency mobile alert system has been well received by Kiwis when it was tested last November.

The alert should reach a third of the 5.8 million cellphones in New Zealand.

Source: 1 NEWS

An independent survey, commissioned by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM), found that 34 per cent of Kiwis received the alert on their phone and 49 per cent either received the alert or were near someone who did.

The survey found that overall 72 per cent of mobile users believe the system will be an effective way of alerting people in an emergency.

MCDEM director Sarah Stuart-Black says they predicted that around a third of Kiwis would receive the first test message - and that proved to be spot on.

"That number increases to around half of Kiwis when you include people who were near somebody who received an alert," she said.

"It's also clear that Kiwis really value having this new channel to help keep them and their loved ones safe, with nearly three in four people expressing confidence in the alert system."

The next challenge is to improve the system's performance at the receiving end by addressing issues with various mobile phone models.

"The nationwide test was valuable in highlighting variability in how different models of mobile phones behaved - to address this we're working with providers to identify enhancements to software and default settings," she said.

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