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Napier earthquake remembered
Posted at 12:28pm Sunday 31 Jan, 2016
Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye will today attend the 85th anniversary afternoon tea for survivors of the 1931 Napier earthquake, to pay tribute to the heroism, kindness and generosity shown by many during this and more recent emergencies.
“From both the Napier and more recent Canterbury quakes, there are many stories of neighbours, friends, families and strangers helping one another and placing others before themselves,” says Nikki.
“The 1931 earthquake was a pivotal event for Hawkes Bay and New Zealand. With 256 fatalities, it remains our most devastating natural disaster in terms of loss of life.
“When Canterbury experienced its own devastating quakes, Hawkes Bay residents were quick to open their homes to Cantabrians in need of a break or somewhere to stay. That support and generosity was hugely appreciated.
“Hawkes Bay’s recovery from the 1931 earthquake is a noted success, and today it is world renowned for its art deco architectural heritage. Canterbury is on its own journey of recovery from the destructive earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.
“We have learned a lot from the response efforts in Canterbury, and in October last year I announced the completion of over 100 recommendations from an Independent Review of the Civil Defence Emergency Management Response to the Christchurch Earthquake.
“Improved welfare responsiveness is one result of the recommendations, and our system now better supports our communities.
“We continue to put our readiness for potential future events to the test, and last year the Hawkes Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group conducted a successful earthquake exercise that involved neighbouring CDEM Groups and the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM).
“Last year we also held our secondever national earthquake drill, and Hawkes Bay had the joint second-highest participation rate nationwide.
“Both MCDEM and I are committed to creating greater resilience in our communities, which means having the ability to resist, survive, adapt and even thrive in the face of a disaster.
“The stories from survivors of the Napier earthquake are testament to the resilience of New Zealanders and how they opened their hearts in a time of great need. This spirit and our better systems are important to getting through natural disasters, which are an ever-present risk in our country.”
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