My gut feeling is, like I/S at NRT and Rob Guyton stated, is why have we gone to declaring a national emergency level when this tragedy appears to me be a regional / highly localised level?
Rob got slammed by Inv2 of Keeping Stock and quickly, but wrongly I believe, pulled his post. (Some say it is still available via his RSS feed). NRT, as always hard hitting, but you just cannot comment anyway.
Andrew Geddis, via Kiwiblog, some legal beagle or the like, says otherwise, the national declaration being a means of activating an upper layer of bureaucrats to direct traffic and have the ability to release resources from other areas.
I still wonder why this upper level capability is not written into the local level emergency legislation. A national emergency it is not. Something like the well overdue 8m slippage of Alpine Fault, a tsunami hitting the full East Coast, or the Central Plateau erupting via another Taupo would be events worthy of such declaration. Not a highly localised earthquake in my birthplace, the Village of the Damned.
I have not read the fine print and am not a lawyer, but I still support I/S and Bob for having raised the issue.
And to those with their minds on tragic matters, it would pay to remember that everything a politician does is for votes.