Civil Defence flood response team heads home

  • John Carter
Civil Defence

New Zealand’s first civil defence response team deployed internationally returns from flood ravaged Queensland today and team members can be proud of the contribution they have made to the clean-up work in Australia, Civil Defence Minister John Carter said.

“I would like to thank the 15 men and women who have spent 12 days in Queensland doing very physical clean-up and recovery work,” Mr Carter said.

“The team has been in the towns of Condamine, Miles and Dalby and the city suburbs of Lowood (Ipswich) and Newmarket (Brisbane) assisting Queensland emergency management workers.

“Although it is a small team and the damage across the large state of Queensland is unprecedented, the State and Federal Governments appreciated and accepted the offer of assistance from the New Zealand Government. The team has met and been thanked by Queensland State Government Ministers and officials.

“In addition to offering their skills and training, team members have been able to learn from their Australian peers. They were able to tour the State Emergency Services headquarters in Brisbane and they have made valuable connections in Queensland.

“They have experienced travel through severely flooded areas, isolation by flooding in the town of Miles, the trail of devastation left by the flood waters and an encounter with an angry and potentially deadly brown snake – not things they are likely to see in New Zealand.

“Everyone on this team is a volunteer and they have given up traditional holiday time to help our neighbours in a disaster situation that is devastating for families, farming communities, businesses, towns and cities.

“New Zealand has some of the best Civil Defence systems and people in the world. It is important that we can share that internationally.”