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  • New Zealand: 'Hazard fatigue' may be behind severe weather warnings confusion

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New Zealand: 'Hazard fatigue' may be behind severe weather warnings confusion

Source(s):  New Zealand Herald, the - APN Holdings NZ Limited

Impending weather events are being either over-hyped or completely missed, creating confusion for the public, a communications expert warns.

After last week's violent storm when winds gusted up to 213km/h, bringing down trees and knocking out power to 182,000 people, many Aucklanders have said they weren't properly warned of the event.

Communications company BlacklandPR director Mark Blackham said government warnings over weather events were confusing the public by being either hyped or completely absent.


A survey by the company last year found half of New Zealanders would rather trust their own judgment than official safety warnings.

Blackham said at the time it was due to the "cry wolf effect".

"When the disaster doesn't happen, people stop believing it."

Non-weather authorities needed to moderate their warnings, he said.

"The psychology involved in warnings is complex. People are heavily influenced by each other to ratchet up the response."


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  • Publication date 16 Apr 2018

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