A new caller location system for calls to 111 from mobile phone calls has already made a significant impact in the two months it has been up and running.
The system automatically provides emergency services with the probable location of a caller when they dial 111 from a mobile phone, enabling police, fire and ambulance services to respond more quickly.
"The new system has been vital in helping to identify the location of callers in instances where the caller hasn't been able to speak, where the call has been cut off before the operator could get more information about the caller's location or where the caller doesn't know their exact whereabouts," said Police Minister Paula Bennett today.
"The system has been used to get help to an injured person on a farm, a motorcycle crash victim, people who are distressed or potentially suicidal, people experiencing family violence, a person who had spotted a fire in a rural area, and people experiencing medical emergencies."
Communications Minister Simon Bridges said it was "great" to hear how the system was helping emergency service providers improve public safety.
"This solution sees New Zealand leading the way in emergency response systems, alongside the United Kingdom and other European countries," he said.
"Since the system was introduced, more than 145,000 genuine 111 calls have been made to emergency services and around 20 per cent of these calls involved operators using the system to help them get more accurate information about a caller's location."
The new system may provide a critical tool to help identify where mobile calls are coming from, it is still very important for people to tell emergency services operators where they are.
"This is a system that people may need to rely on in times of need, so I'm incredibly proud that it's already making a demonstrable impact," said Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne.
"In some cases the system has been identified as critical to preventing a fatal incident, or preventing an incident from escalating further."
In a joint statement this afternoon the ministers acknowledged the many organisations involved including the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Emergency Service Providers - police, fire and ambulance services, mobile network operators Spark, 2degrees and Vodafone and Datacom and Google.
"It's a fantastic example of the public and private sectors working together to better serve New Zealanders," said Dunne.