Every week should be Y2K week, says Williamson

It's APEC Y2K week - but the minister responsible for Y2K issues, Maurice Williamson, says we should consider every week Y2K 'until clocks tick over to the new millennium'. Williamson talked up the government's own handling of the issue yesterday, declaring that 'the government has been working on the problem since 1996 and awareness is well established in New Zealand.'

It's APEC Y2K week – but the minister responsible for Y2K issues, Maurice Williamson, says we should consider every week Y2K "until clocks tick over to the new millennium".

Williamson talked up the government's own handling of the issue yesterday, declaring that "the government has been working on the problem since 1996 and awareness is well established in New Zealand. This has been further enhanced over the last six months with the establishment of the Y2K Readiness Commission. Results of a recent public opinion survey conducted by the Commission showed that 96%of the population were now aware of the issue."

Williamson said a number of recent initiatives would improve awareness further, including the "Good Samaritan" legislation, now expected to be passed on May 18 after being rejected as unnecessary by the government last year.

"This will increase the opportunity for organisations to share information without fear of legal liability and improve their ability to install contingency plans."

Businesses that had not already done so must now attack the problem, the minister said, stressing the importance of contingency planning.

"Management of the supply chain and the development and testing of business continiuty measures must be addressed."

Details of sector progress are published on the Readiness Commission's web site, at s www.y2k.govt.nz

"We are determined to emphasise co-operation and disclosure so that all New Zealanders will understand how risks are being managed and what part they can play in the transition to the new millennium."

Williamson said publication of such material was a positive incentive for organisations to make further progress and reassure the public that their interests are being taken seriously.

"This is akin to hanging out the dirty washing for all to see. Hopefully, over time, the public will see that this laundry is progressively becoming cleaner."

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