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Ed Sheeran

Iwi needed for civil defence

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The review was started last year by the previous Government with cross-party support, and headed by former National Party deputy leader Roger Sowry.

Civil Defence Minister Kris Faafoi says he will consider its recommendations as he meets with local authorities, iwi and other groups over the next few months.

The review calls for a national emergency management agency and “fly-in” teams of professionals for a rapid response.

Local authorities would retain a major role, with mayors responsible for declaring states of emergency but iwi would be added to the existing joint governance committees in each area.

The review says the resources, capability, and social capital of iwi to assist in emergency response is not recognised in legislation, and specific needs of Maori, whanau, hapu, and iwi are often not recognised in group plans.

“We found a compelling case for iwi to be represented at all levels of the group structure. As a result, we recommend clearer protocols with iwi, and full participation of iwi in coordination and planning structures,” it says.

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