New Zealand

State of national emergency expires

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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.