Report 'fails to address' all quake response problems

9:40 am on 19 October 2012

The lawyer for the family of a woman who died in the CTV building in Christchurch says the earthquake rescue effort was hampered by problems in the Fire Service's senior management.

An independent review, released on Thursday, found major failings with the performance of Fire Service management after the 6.3-magnitude quake on 22 February 2011.

The Fire Service's national commander, Paul Baxter, believes those problems didn't hinder the overall rescue effort.

However lawyer Nigel Hampton disagrees with Mr Baxter's view and says the report into the Fire Service response fails to address some problems emergency agencies had in working together in the aftermath of the disaster.

"It doesn't touch on the problems that we say existed on the night in terms of the disconnect between the various agencies - and primarily there I'm talking about the Fire Service USAR on the one hand and the police on the other."

Mr Hampton says new evidence from his client, Alec Cvetanov, will be put to an inquest this month. Mr Cvetanov's wife was among 115 people who died in the CTV building which collapsed in the February earthquake.

The review, carried out by the head of Britain's West Yorkshire Fire Service, found senior managers on duty on the day the quake failed to show leadership.

The report said a dysfunctional relationship between senior managers and line officers manifested itself on the day, when managers failed to communicate with each other over key decisions.