New Zealand to send further firefighter support to Australia
The New Zealand Government is sending a further 22 firefighters to help fight the Australian fires.
“The devastation caused by these fires is taking a substantial toll on our Australian neighbours and we will continue to do what we can to assist as they deal with this extremely dynamic, dangerous and ongoing situation,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.
“New Zealanders around the country have expressed their condolences to those who have lost loved ones and sympathy to all affected, and I extend mine too. It’s simply devastating to see the scale of the loss.
“I’ve been in contact with Prime Minister Scott Morrison again this week to share our collective support for our neighbours and friends, and what they’re experiencing,” Jacinda Ardern said.
A formal request for further assistance was made earlier this week and the extra personnel (20 firefighters, a strike team leader and a liaison officer) will help with front-line firefighting on two five-day rotations. They’ll leave for Australia on 8 January.
Since late October 2019, 157 New Zealanders have been deployed to assist with the Australia bush fires.
“These fires continue to be fought in some of the most challenging conditions ever and Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) and its partners are providing valuable assistance,” Tracey Martin said.
“I thank them for their incredible efforts and wish them the best for the tough and complex work they are doing.
“The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely and FENZ will remain in contact with Australian fire authorities to consider any further calls for support as needed,” Tracey Martin said.