Press releases: archive 2011

Thursday 2 June 2011

New Zealand and Australian seniors to share discounts

Discounts for seniors are set to go trans-Tasman with Senior Citizens Minister John Carter announcing reciprocal arrangements for the SuperGold Card with Australian state and territorial governments.

"Under this initiative, both New Zealand's SuperGold and Australia's state and territory Seniors Card holders will be able to get discounts when travelling in Australia and New Zealand," said Mr Carter.

"The over 65s are a fast growing population who are travelling more, with over 100,000 Kiwi seniors heading to Australia each year. The discounts will help their tourist dollar go further.

"70,000 Australian seniors head for our shores each year and spend over $131 million while they are here. The arrangement will encourage more Aussies to head over and bolster our tourism industry.

"With all the travel our citizens do between our two countries, I can see this as a great opportunity to grow seniors tourism and build on the ANZAC spirit."

There are over 1,300 New Zealand SuperGold business partners with 5,600 outlets nationwide. The discounts offered through the scheme will be met by the businesses involved who will voluntarily opt into the agreement.

The arrangement will not include state or nationally funded initiatives such as the free off-peak travel available to SuperGold Card users in New Zealand.

The Ministry of Social Development and its Australian counterparts will be encouraging businesses to provide discounts and special offers to cardholders travelling in Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Carter says he is looking forward to the arrangements being progressed over the next few months.


Friday 27 May 2011

New earthquake resource for preschoolers

Civil Defence Minister John Carter today launched the new Turtle Safe DVD, an earthquake safety resource for preschool children that illustrates the right actions to take when an earthquake happens.

Messages are aimed at providing children with clear, easy to remember instructions on what they should do to keep safe when an earthquake happens to protect themselves - "Just like a turtle tucked up in bed".

"It's really important that children know instinctively what to do" said Mr Carter. "I encourage teachers and caregivers to watch the DVD and hold practice drills with the children in their care so they are familiar with what they should do when an earthquake occurs.

"I also encourage talking to children about earthquakes which helps reduce fear and anxiety, and provides opportunities for children to ask questions and express their feelings by talking or drawing", Mr Carter said.

The new Turtle Safe DVD is a joint project from the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management and the Auckland Council. From next week, it will be sent to over 6000 early childcare centres and playgroups throughout the country. It will also be available online at www.getthru.govt.nz

"Civil Defence is about educating people of all ages about what to do in an emergency, right down to pre-schoolers", says Clive Manley, Manager, Civil Defence and Emergency Management for the Auckland Council.
"Kids are a great way to get the message to the parents and the DVD is in a format that the little ones will understand and hopefully remember."

Children and staff from the Henderson Edukids early childcare centre who participated in the filming of the new DVD were among the guests at the launch.


Friday 27 May 2011

Territorial Authority seaward boundaries standardised

The seaward boundaries of 23 territorial authorities have been standardised to the mean low water springs (low tide mark) to provide nationally consistent seaward boundaries for all 53 coastal authorities, says Associate Local Government Minister John Carter.

"The key benefit of this jurisdiction extension is that it will allow all territorial authorities to locally regulate public nuisances and safety issues on beaches where issues arise," said Mr Carter.

Prior to the change, 30 authorities had jurisdiction to the mean low water springs, and 23 had jurisdiction to the mean high water spring. This left these 23 councils with no jurisdiction to regulate activities on the full beach area.

"In particular, extension will remove a barrier to managing issues such as the use of motor vehicles on beaches. It will allow local control where there is a community preference for such measures, and answers the demand from many coastal residents and beach users for safer beaches.

"Before making the decision I consulted with the 23 affected territorial Authorities and with Local Government New Zealand. As a jurisdictional change, the standardisation does not impose any significant direct costs or responsibilities on territorial authorities, but simplifies the management of the area by allowing affected councils to respond to community concerns," said Mr Carter.


Friday 13 May 2011

Civil Defence Minister Meets UN Secretary-General at Risk Reduction Conference

Civil Defence Minister John Carter has met with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. Both are attending the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Geneva this week.

The pair met after Mr Carter took part in a question and answer session called "Invest Today for a Safer Tomorrow – Increased Investment in Local Action". The session was moderated by BBC journalist and broadcaster Zeinab Badawi.

Secretary-General Ki-Moon and Mr Carter discussed the upcoming Rugby World Cup, and Mr Carter presented the Secretary-General with a New Zealand Rugby World Cup badge.

While delivering New Zealand's national statement to the conference, Mr Carter expressed his sorrow at the lives lost from around the world in the 22 February earthquake in Christchurch. He also thanked the many countries and people who generously gave aid and assistance at the time.

Mr Carter also hosted a lunch for representatives of the countries who sent official assistance, such as Urban Search and Rescue and Disaster Victim Identification, and met with Margareta Wahlstrom, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction before returning home.


Monday 2 May 2011

Report focuses on economic benefits of ageing

It is time to look at the economic benefits of ageing baby boomers rather than just the burdens, Senior Citizens Minister John Carter said today.

Launching the Ministry of Social Development report The Business of Ageing, Realising the economic potential of older people in New Zealand: 2011-2051, Mr Carter said valuing the skills, knowledge and economic power of older people would benefit New Zealand's economic competitiveness in the next 40 years.

"There is a growing realisation of the economic potential of older people and this report is a discussion-starter that presents new research on the subject," Mr Carter said.

It looks at enabling older people to remain active in the workforce and tapping into the growing consumer market an ageing population presents.
"We need to think outside the square to maximise the opportunities that come with an ageing population that is like no other before it. This report poses some exciting possibilities," Mr Carter said.

"In January this year, the first of New Zealand's baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) reached 65 years of age.

"In less than 20 years, one million people in New Zealand will be over the age of 65, compared to about 560,000 today. And in 40 years, one in four people will be aged over 65, compared to one in eight today.

"People over 65 are predicted to be our only growth market in terms of demography. They will become one of the most significant consumer markets in New Zealand. They will have their own needs and preferences that are quite different from earlier generations of older people, and also quite different from younger people.

"Baby boomers will be healthier, better educated and have more spending power than any other generation reaching 65 in New Zealand's history.

"They want to stay active and keep working. Flexible work options could drive job growth and help us respond to projected skill and labour shortages.

"Government cannot work in isolation to develop priorities for older people, so buy-in from the business sector, employers and people of all ages is essential to capture the possibilities this report outlines.

"I hope the report broadens the discussion about our ageing population to something more than the sustainability of a pension system and the perceived economic burden of the aged. The flip-side of that coin is the opportunities of a largely fit, active and economically powerful demographic."

The report can be found at:
www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/research/business-of-ageing/index.html

Key facts

The research models three scenarios over the next 40 years to show the contribution to the economy those aged 65 and over are expected to make:

  • more older people will participate in the workforce - by 2051, older people could account for one in 10 New Zealand workers
  • the economic value of older people's paid and voluntary work will increase - their earnings from employment could rise from just over
    $1 billion to about $10 billion
  • older people's contribution to tax revenue will increase - from about $200 million today to about $1.8 billion

Read speech "The Business of Ageing" >>>


Sunday 1 May 2011

State of national emergency expires

The state of national emergency in Christchurch city, declared in the aftermath of the 6.3-magnitude earthquake on 22 February, expired at 11.59pm last night, Civil Defence Minister John Carter said today.

"I would like to thank the National Controllers, John Hamilton and Steve Brazier, for the dedication they have shown and the many hours of work they have done in the past 10 weeks to respond to this devastating earthquake," Mr Carter said.

"They have worked tirelessly to make Christchurch city safe and secure and as both are former Cantabrians, the work has been very important to them personally.

"They have led teams of people who have shown similar dedication and also worked long hours to restore lifelines to the people of Christchurch affected by this natural disaster; the worst in New Zealand's history.

"I have been proud to witness the Civil Defence response to this earthquake and to see the great community spirit shown by New Zealanders not only in Canterbury, but around the country and the world. We are a nation that rallies in times of need.

"Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker, the city councillors and staff have played a hugely important role in the response to this event which I know has been appreciated by the people of Christchurch.

"I would also like to thank the many international personnel who came to help in this response. New Zealand is lucky to have so many good friends.

"While the state of national emergency has been lifted, the Government remains committed to the rebuild and recovery of Christchurch city and CERA will lead that work."

The state of national emergency in New Zealand - that applied specifically to Christchurch City - was declared on 23 February. It the first declared under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 and extended for nearly 10 weeks.


Tuesday 12 April 2011

State of national emergency extended further

Civil Defence Minister John Carter has today extended the state of national emergency until 18 April, in the aftermath of the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch on 22 February.

The state of national emergency in New Zealand - that applies specifically to Christchurch City - was declared on 23 February. Under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 a state of national emergency can be declared for a maximum of seven days at a time only.

"Since the state of national emergency was declared, the National Controller has used his authority to stabilise the situation in Christchurch city," Mr Carter said.

"Work remains focused on residents being adequately housed in safe and warm accommodation, with reliable access to water, functional sewerage disposal, electricity and communications.

"Given the extent of damage to the city, good progress has been made in restoring lifelines and now 99 percent of people outside the Central Business District have power and 100 percent of households outside the Red Zone have running water.

"To put this in context, on 25 February 50,000 people (approximately 20 percent) were without power and between 50 and 60 percent of households had no running water.

"Once the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority has been set up there will be a hand-over from the National Controller to that organisation and the state of national emergency can be lifted."

The authorities – and the relevant section of the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 – that have been used by the National Controller during the state of national emergency include:

  • Issuing statements concerning the emergency [CDEMA s74]
  • Accommodation, feeding and care for displaced people [CDEMA s9(2)(a)]
  • Entering premises to rescue people or ensure no one was trapped [CDEMA s87]
  • Provision of air transport out of Christchurch using New Zealand Defence Force aircraft [CDEMA s9(2)(a)(i)]
  • Cordoning, evacuating and restricting access to the CBD and other areas [CDEMA s86 & s88]
  • Demolition of unsafe structures [CDEMA s85(1)]
  • Emergency works to dump earthquake rubble at Lyttleton [CDEMA s111 & RMA s330B]
  • Emergency works to discharge untreated sewerage into rivers, estuaries and the sea [CDEMA s111 & RMA s330B]
  • Emergency works including dumping of debris at Burwood [CDEMA s85(1) &s111 & RMA s330B]
  • Emergency works to erect substations and over-ground power lines in the Eastern suburbs [CDEMA s111 & RMA s330B]
  • Giving directions to people to stop activities that might cause or substantially contribute to the emergency and requesting people take action to prevent or limit the extent of the emergency [CDEMA s91]
  • Carrying out inspections, which may include marking, seizing, sampling, securing, disinfecting or destroying any property, animal or any other thing in order to prevent or limit the extent of the emergency [CDEMA s92].

Wednesday 6 April 2011

State of national emergency continues

Civil Defence Minister John Carter has today extended the state of national emergency until 12 April, in the aftermath of the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch on 22 February.

The state of national emergency in New Zealand - that applies specifically to Christchurch City - was declared on 23 February. Under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 a state of national emergency can be declared for a maximum of seven days at a time only.

"While the situation in Christchurch City has improved significantly in the six weeks since the earthquake, the city has not been stabilised sufficiently to change the status of this state of national emergency in Christchurch City," Mr Carter said.

"I therefore consider it necessary to keep the state of national emergency in place.

"Once the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority has been set up there will be a hand-over from the National Controller to that organisation and the state of national emergency can be lifted."


Friday 1 April 2011

Positive ageing progress measured

A summary of progress on New Zealand's Positive Ageing Strategy can now be viewed at a single online source at the Ministry of Social Development website, Senior Citizens Minister John Carter said today.

"There are many great initiatives taking place around New Zealand to support the strategy, which aims to improve the well-being of older people, and it is important to track what is being done," Mr Carter said.

"As Minister for Senior Citizens I have selected priorities from the strategy to focus on, including employment of mature workers, changing attitudes about ageing, and protecting the rights and interests of older people, especially in relation to elder abuse and neglect."

The New Zealand Positive Ageing Strategy was developed in 2001 after consultation with communities, the voluntary sector and central and local government. Its 10 goals are used by agencies to develop action plans to improve the wellbeing of older people in communities throughout New Zealand.

"Older people are an increasing proportion of our population as people live longer. This will become more evident as the first of the 'baby boomers' turn 65 from this year," Mr Carter said.

"We need to plan and act now, so older New Zealanders can continue to age well. We also need to monitor our progress, so all older people in New Zealand can enjoy positive ageing."

The New Zealand Positive Ageing Strategy is available online at the Ministry of Social Development website. The website provides useful facts and figures that show progress against the 10 positive ageing goals.


Thursday 31 March 2011

State of national emergency continues

Civil Defence Minister John Carter has today extended the state of national emergency until 6 April, in the aftermath of the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch on 22 February.

The state of national emergency in New Zealand - that applies specifically to Christchurch City - was declared on 23 February. Under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 a state of national emergency can be declared for a maximum of seven days at a time only.

"There is still considerable work to be done in Christchurch that requires the powers the National Controller has to ensure the maximum possible coordination and cooperation between central and local resources to respond to this disaster," Mr Carter said.

"The response is of such a magnitude that the required civil defence emergency management is beyond the capacity of the regional civil defence emergency management group. In Christchurch there is strong support for the state of national emergency.

"The state of national emergency will not be lifted until I am satisfied that the situation has stabilised sufficiently that it is no longer required.

"Work remains focused on residents being adequately housed in safe and warm accommodation, with reliable access to water, functional sewerage disposal, electricity and communications.

"Civil Defence is aware of the importance of restoring business activity in Christchurch and is working with business owners and organisations on this.

"There is extensive damage in the cordoned off central business district, some of which is hard for people to fathom having not been able to see it.

"I have every confidence in the National Controller's decisions around access to this area as I know his primary consideration is always public safety."



Wednesday 30 March 2011

Racing Minister calls for board nominations

Racing Minister John Carter has today invited nominations for appointment to the New Zealand Racing Board.

The opening of nominations is due to the expiration of a current board member's term on 31 July 2011.

"The New Zealand Racing Board is responsible for the promotion, organisation and development of the racing industry, and also provides racing and sports betting services through the TAB," Mr Carter says.

"It is necessary for nominees to have expertise in business, marketing and/or economics, as well as a good knowledge of the racing industry.

"Racing is a dynamic business that employs a significant number of people. However, it is not without challenges including attracting participation and competition for the discretionary dollar.

"The industry looks to the Board to lead and facilitate long-term planning that ensures its sustainability."

Appointments are expected to be made for 1 August 2011. Nomination forms and further details about the board's membership, functions and powers can be obtained from the Department of Internal Affairs website (www.dia.govt.nz) or by phoning 04 494 0514.

The closing date for receipt of nominations is Thursday 21 April 2011.


Friday 25 March 2011

State of national emergency extended further

Civil Defence Minister John Carter has today extended the state of national emergency until 31 March, in the aftermath of the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch on 22 February.

The state of national emergency in New Zealand - that applies specifically to Christchurch City - was declared on 23 February. Under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 a state of national emergency can be declared for a maximum of seven days at a time only.

"There is still considerable work to be done before the state of national emergency can be lifted and recovery work passed on to the appropriate agency or agencies," Mr Carter said.

"Until then, the National Controller remains in control of the functions, duties, and powers of the Civil Defence Emergency Management Group and Group controller. He works in consultation with central government and local authorities, including the Mayor, on this massive recovery operation.

"Christchurch needs significant support and the state of national emergency allows for a wider range of assets and powers to support the citizens of Christchurch than would normally be utilised under a state of local emergency.

"The situation in Christchurch is difficult and fluid, but the National Controller is working to increase awareness of the powers he holds and to provide a better understanding of the Civil Defence operations that are underway.

"Civil Defence is aware of the importance of restoring business activity in Christchurch and is working with business leaders to address issues around access to vital records and property or stock by business owners.

"This work remains subject to public safety.

"Work is also focused on residents being adequately housed in safe and warm accommodation, with reliable access to water, functional sewerage disposal, electricity and communications."


Thursday 24 March 2011

Christchurch business issues addressed

Access to businesses in the cordoned red zone of Christchurch city is being addressed by the National Controller, Civil Defence Minister John Carter said today.

"Last night, National Controller Steve Brazier and I had a very positive meeting with representatives from the Central City Business Association, the New Zealand Retailers' Association, Canterbury Development Corporation, Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Canterbury Business Recovery Group," Mr Carter said.

"Civil Defence is aware of the importance of restoring business activity in Christchurch and is working with these business leaders to address issues around access to vital records and property or stock by business owners.

"The National Controller will do a stock take of buildings within the cordoned red zone so business owners can find out about the current state of their business premises. He will work with the leading business organisations to find out which businesses are in the affected buildings.

"Then business owners will know if and when they can access their premises. The sooner they know that, the sooner they can start working with their insurance companies and plan for business continuity.

"This work will remain subject to safety of people and there will be some cases, due to the impact of the earthquake, where businesses will never be able to retrieve property or stock. Those businesses will be advised of that. However, as many owners as possible will progressively be allowed to access their property.

"Another issue raised at the meeting was security for businesses in the red zone and property that owners cannot access will be secured, for example, doors will be shut and locked. Any complaints about treatment of buildings or stock will be followed up.

"Reduction of cordons and better traffic flow and management around the inner city were also discussed.

"We understand the frustrations felt by business owners and believe it is important to keep talking positively with them to firstly hear about their concerns and then work to resolve them."


Monday 21 March 2011

Christchurch cordon to save lives

The central Christchurch cordon put in place after the devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake on 22 February is there to save lives, Civil Defence Minister John Carter said today.

"It is foolish to breach the cordon around the red zone. People died behind that cordon," Mr Carter said.

"The destruction from the earthquake was extensive and left many buildings in an unsafe state. Civil Defence has been working tirelessly to get the area into a safe state.

"National Controller John Hamilton has advised the business community of plans to increase access for business owners into the red zone and he is working with the Canterbury Business Recovery group on that plan.

"Business owners need to exercise patience and consider their need to access their businesses, bearing in mind that in doing so without authorisation they may not only endanger their own lives, but also the lives of others.

"Safety is paramount and business owners will not be allowed into unsafe buildings.

"The National Controller is working on a plan to increase controlled and limited access to the red zone from Thursday this week.

"It is serious that people think they can storm or breach the cordon. They put lives at risk doing that and they will be prosecuted."


Sunday 13 March 2011

State of national emergency extended further

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. Under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 a state of national emergency can be declared for a maximum of seven days at a time only. It was first extended on 1 March, then 7 March. It is expected to continue for several more weeks, Mr Carter said.

"Continuing this declaration means the National Controller remains in control of the 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, on this massive recovery operation," Mr Carter said.

"The declaration of the state of national emergency ensures the maximum possible co-ordination and co-operation between central and local resources in response to this disaster.

"It has been nearly three weeks since the earthquake and I am constantly impressed by the willingness of everyone involved in putting Christchurch back together to pull out all stops to ensure people's most urgent needs are met as quickly as they can be."


Thursday 10 March 2011

Temporary toilets delivered as fast as possible

Providing temporary toilet facilities for earthquake affected Christchurch residents is being worked on urgently, Civil Defence Minister John Carter said today.

"There are 40,131 temporary toilets (both portaloos and chemical toilets) that have been sourced to meet demand," Mr Carter said.

"Sixteen days after the earthquake, approximately 60 percent of households in Christchurch can use their toilets. I know that for those households who cannot use their toilet there is considerable anxiety. I want to assure those people that Civil Defence is getting temporary toilets into Christchurch and out to affected people as quickly as possible.

"The latest information I have is that by the end of today, 1471 portaloos will have been delivered to the suburbs that need them. A total of 4800 chemical toilets have been delivered and are in people's houses. A further 5000 chemical toilets are expected into Christchurch today.

"There is detailed information on locations of portaloos and chemical toilet collection tanks at Earthquake Incident Viewer website.

"The earthquake on 22 February did significant damage to the waste water network throughout Christchurch. Civil Defence and Christchurch City Council staff are working as quickly as possible to assess the damage and develop both short and long-term solutions.

"One of the issues is significant silt build up, that is causing blockages that need to be identified. This silt then needs to be jet blasted out of sewerage pipes before damage can be fully assessed.

"Residents will be given information as their water is connected on how to find out if their toilet can be used. It is important to follow the instructions and advice of Civil Defence."

For more information go to Christchurch Recovery Map website.


Monday 7 March 2011

State of national emergency extended

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."


Tuesday 1 March 2011

State of national emergency extended

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 last Tuesday.

The state of national emergency in New Zealand was declared last Wednesday and is expected to continue for several more weeks, Mr Carter says.

"This declaration ensures coordination and cooperation between central and local resources, and international assistance. Due to the scale of this disaster, the civil defence response is beyond the resources of the local authority," he says.

The declaration gives Civil Defence Emergency Management National Controller John Hamilton the authority to direct and coordinate resources. The Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 requires the declaration to be renewed every seven days.

Mr Carter says the significant damage caused by the earthquake and the continuing aftershocks mean it is appropriate the state of national emergency continues.

The declaration covers Christchurch City only and does not have any direct impact on other areas of New Zealand.


Wednesday 23 February 2011

Cash donations best way to help Cantabrians

Cash donations are the best way to support people affected by the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that hit Canterbury yesterday, Civil Defence Minister John Carter says.

Mr Carter says offers of support from donations of money are the quickest and easiest way to help organisations on the ground get exactly what they need.

"That way, affected people can make their own choices about putting their lives back together. What's more, money spent locally helps the local economy at a crucial time," Mr Carter says.

"If you have goods to offer, rather than cash, it will be some time before the logistics to handle this will be available.

"Staff need to focus solely to saving lives and protecting the public at this stage. Down the track, if there's a need for specific goods to be donated, we will make a public call," he says.

Businesses wanting to offer expertise, and people wanting to volunteer, are asked to please wait and not send staff and resources, or go to Christchurch themselves. When local authorities have a clear idea of what is needed and are in a position to manage goods and volunteers they will advise publicly what is needed and where.

Donations can be made through any of the below channels:

  • Red Cross - visit: www.redcross.org.nz/donate
  • Salvation Army: 0800 53 00 00 (Specify that your donation is for the 'Canterbury Earthquake Appeal')
  • Any ANZ Bank branch: Account number 01-1839-0188939-00
  • Any National Bank branch: Account number 06-0869-0548507-00
  • Any Westpac Bank branch: Account number 03-0207-0617331-00
  • Any ASB Bank branch: Account number 12-3205-0146808-00
  • Any BNZ Bank branch: Account number 02-0500-0982004-000
  • Any Kiwibank branch: Account number: 38-9009-0759479-00

Friday 11 February 2011

McCully names new High Commissioner to the Cook Islands

New Zealand's next High Commissioner to the Cook Islands will be the Minister of Civil Defence, Hon John Carter, Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced today.

"New Zealand and the Cook Islands enjoy a special relationship based on historical, constitutional, and strong people to people links.

"The Cooks have been self-governing in free association with New Zealand since 1965 and all Cook Islanders are New Zealand citizens. Accordingly, this underlines the closeness of the bilateral relationship," says Mr McCully.

"New Zealand development assistance to the Cook Islands has increased significantly over the past two years and has been refocused on sustainable economic development including support for activities such as waste management that maintain the integrity of Cook Islands reputation as a tourism destination.

"I am confident that John Carter - who enjoys a long association with the Cook Islands - will take a strong leadership role in managing this relationship at a very important time in its history," Mr McCully says.

John Carter has been the National Party MP for the Bay of Islands and subsequent Northland Electorate since 1987. His current Ministerial portfolios include Civil Defence, Senior Citizens, Racing and Associate Minister for Local Government.

John Carter will take up his appointment in August 2011, replacing current High Commissioner Linda Te Puni.


Monday 7 February 2011

Disaster planning info designed for blind

Civil Defence Minister John Carter has today launched an interactive, electronic resource designed to give potentially life-saving advice on emergency planning to the blind and partially sighted.

"The Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind has collaborated with the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management to produce this valuable resource," Mr Carter said.

There are more than 11,500 blind and partially sighted members of the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind.

Information is provided using specialised voice and key pad command systems already used by people who are blind and partially sighted including Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) CD readers, e-text and electronic Braille readers.

"As recent events in New Zealand and Australia have shown, a natural disaster is a traumatic time for everyone. It is vital that all New Zealanders have access to potentially life-saving information on how to be ready for, and also what to do to respond to a disaster event," Mr Carter said.

"Public education is an essential component of disaster risk reduction, readiness, response and recovery. The best way to get through an emergency event is to be prepared, and I can't stress that enough.

"One of the things I quickly became aware of in the hours after last year's Canterbury earthquake was the constant need for information and updates. I realised how important it is to be able to talk to all members of the community and to have information available in formats that suit different needs. Last year Civil Defence developed a similar resource for the deaf and hearing impaired.

"This resource encourages those who are blind or partially sighted to plan ahead for their specific requirements in an emergency. It focuses on developing an emergency plan with friends, family and neighbours.

"The message is simple. All individuals and communities have a responsibility to look after themselves and their loved ones for at least three days, possibly more, until help can get to them."

Please note:
Get ready now so you can get through – a resource for the blind and partially sighted community is available from today to borrow from the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind. It can also be accessed via the Foundation's subscriber telephone information service, and online at both the Foundation's website and Get Thru website.


Monday 31 January 2011

NZ thoroughbreds lure international buyers

A strong Australian dollar and another outstanding season for New Zealand-bred thoroughbreds across the Tasman augur well for the 85th national yearling sales series starting in Auckland today, Racing Minister John Carter said.

"Buyers from around the world recognise the strength and quality of New Zealand's thoroughbreds and this week's sales (31 January - 7 February 2011) at Karaka have attracted buyers from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia Japan, South Africa, United Kingdom, Ireland and of course, Australia," Mr Carter said.

"It is good to see leading Australian trainers such as Bart Cummings, Lee Freedman and Gai Waterhouse coming back to Karaka each year. Their endorsement is valuable to our breeding industry.

"Almost half of the $93.5 million spent at the sales series last year was paid by Australian buyers. They come to our yearling sales because they get results.

"The latest superstar in Australia, So You Think (by High Chaparral) was bred in New Zealand, bought from Karaka for $110,000 and trained by Bart Cummings to become the highest-ever ranked Australian trained horse on the World Rankings.

"Last year's sales were outstanding and buyers will have to pay more than $2 million to top the best price at the 2010 Premier Sale. That $2 million Zabeel-Diamond Like colt was sold by Cambridge Stud which this year will be going for the title of leading vendor by aggregate for the 30th consecutive year. Cambridge Stud owners Sir Patrick and Lady Justine Hogan continue to make a significant contribution to New Zealand's thoroughbred breeding and racing industry.

"Horses and racing are valuable to our economy. The New Zealand racing industry generates $1.6 billion in economic activity each year; comparable in size to the wine industry $1.5 billion and the seafood industry $1.7 billion. Horses generate $167 million in export revenue each year.

"To retain the strength of our breeding industry it is important that we keep good horses in New Zealand, so I hope to see plenty of domestic buyers in action at the sales too.

"The next week will see the cream of our thoroughbred yearling crop go under the auctioneer's hammer. Any one of them could be a world-beater. I wish all buyers well in their quest to secure the next champion."


Thursday 20 January 2011

Civil Defence flood response team heads home

New Zealand's first civil defence response team deployed internationally returns from flood ravaged Queensland today and team members can be proud of the contribution they have made to the clean-up work in Australia, Civil Defence Minister John Carter said.

"I would like to thank the 15 men and women who have spent 12 days in Queensland doing very physical clean-up and recovery work," Mr Carter said.

"The team has been in the towns of Condamine, Miles and Dalby and the city suburbs of Lowood (Ipswich) and Newmarket (Brisbane) assisting Queensland emergency management workers.

"Although it is a small team and the damage across the large state of Queensland is unprecedented, the State and Federal Governments appreciated and accepted the offer of assistance from the New Zealand Government. The team has met and been thanked by Queensland State Government Ministers and officials.

"In addition to offering their skills and training, team members have been able to learn from their Australian peers. They were able to tour the State Emergency Services headquarters in Brisbane and they have made valuable connections in Queensland.

"They have experienced travel through severely flooded areas, isolation by flooding in the town of Miles, the trail of devastation left by the flood waters and an encounter with an angry and potentially deadly brown snake – not things they are likely to see in New Zealand.

"Everyone on this team is a volunteer and they have given up traditional holiday time to help our neighbours in a disaster situation that is devastating for families, farming communities, businesses, towns and cities.

"New Zealand has some of the best Civil Defence systems and people in the world. It is important that we can share that internationally."

 

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