State of Emergency declared

PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER

A State of Emergency has been declared for Christchurch and Selwyn as fires continue to ravage the Port Hills.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel and Selwyn District Mayor Sam Broughton made a joint decision to declare the State of Emergency.

It follows the evacuation of 200-300 residents as the fire shifted closer to residential properties in the south-west.

Minister of Defence Gerry Brownlee has announced New Zealand Defence Force personnel have been asked to assist with fighting the fires.

Ms Dalziel said a city response was also required to ensure the safety and welfare of residents.

“Christchurch needs a multi-agency response given the seriousness of the situation. We need to be able to draw on all the resources possible to give our residents confidence in the ongoing response.”

Mr Broughton said: “We acknowledge there has been a huge effort responding to the fire to date, however this declaration recognises the seriousness of the situation, and this will allow us to provide all the assistance necessary to respond to the unfolding situation.

“The district and the city must work together to manage the situation and address the different challenges the fire is creating in each area.”

More to come

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