MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Ministers must act on 111 failure

Lives are being put at risk if the company contracted to manage emergency 111 calls can’t cope with increased numbers, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says.

“Saturday’s situation where people calling the emergency services were unable to get through and were instead cut off shows there’s something wrong with the system.

“Imagine if there was a serious incident affecting a lot of people such as an earthquake, terrorism event or other disaster resulting in hundreds of calls to emergency services at once.

“The ICT and Emergency Service Ministers should demand an explanation from Spark as to whether they are delivering on their service obligations.

“If the fault lies with the contracted arrangements then it’s the government who should explain what went wrong and what they will do about it.

“Emergency calls are not easy calls. The operator needs to stay with the person until they are dealt with.

“We cannot compromise on our emergency services to keep costs down. If there isn’t enough capacity to manage the service under stress, we deserve to know.

“The 111 calls cannot be another example of essential public services being compromised,” says Clare Curran.

Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.