Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne and the National government have only themselves to blame for the shemozzle in the Christchurch fires, says New Zealand First.
“In eight years National has failed to turn Civil Defence into a professional, slick organisation with regional strength - but Mr Dunne now has the audacity to claim he has the solution,” says New Zealand First Internal Affairs spokesperson Clayton Mitchell.
“Mr Dunne who has only just presented his Fire Service amalgamation legislation to parliament now wants to merge Civil Defence into the mix as well and have the new body lead in all disasters.
“So if he knew Civil Defence has been dogged with problems why wait eight years as Minister before any attempt to address it?
“Mr Dunne and National should take full responsibility, particularly as they made a big deal of moving civil defence to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in in 2014,” says Mr Mitchell.
“This was intended to improve emergency management arrangements – clearly Peter Dunne thinks do that this hasn’t worked.”
“Mr Dunne’s new suggestion is poorly thought through. It makes Peter Dunne look like nothing more than a cowboy shooting from the hip.
“He knows the proposed amalgamation of urban and rural fire services has already been a resounding failure overseas.
“The flawed funding model of this new organisation could spell disaster for Civil Defence response teams on the ground,” says Mr Mitchell.
Published as per NZ First News