Defence force on standby

The New Zealand Defence Force has placed at least 500 personnel, aircraft and trucks on standby to help emergency response services in the aftermath of the devastating storm that is forecast to hammer the North Island from Thursday.

The New Zealand Defence Force has placed at least 500 personnel, as well as aircraft and trucks on standby to help emergency response services deal with the devastating storm that is forecast to hammer the North Island from today. 

Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating, says one of the roles of the New Zealand Defence Force is to be ready to support the Government response to significant natural events 365 days of the year.

“Cyclone Cook is such an event, and the resources – equipment and personnel – that are required are being readied to respond to assist New Zealanders in need.”

Major General Tim Gall, the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, says about 200 personnel across the country could be mobilised at two hours' notice.

A further 300 personnel had also been placed on standby to support the Government's response. 

“We stand ready to help the local communities and have personnel and assets that can be mobilised at short notice to provide timely and effective support if required,” says Major General Gall.

“We recognise that the Easter break, which coincides with the school holidays, is a time for families to be together. But this is a time of need and our Defence Force expects its people to help out. 

“The next 48 hours is critical. We have placed our personnel and assets across the country on standby so they can be deployed as quickly as possible.” 

The NZDF had been working closely with the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, which was leading the Government's response, Major General Gall says. 

“Our staff have been liaising since Wednesday with civil defence authorities in areas that are forecast to be affected by the storm.” 

The NZDF sent 50 personnel to Whanganui and Rangitikei to help evacuate residents, fill sandbags, check on residents in flood-affected areas and man cordons after the councils declared local states of emergency on 4 April.

Another 36 personnel, including six Military Police, were sent to Edgecumbe in Bay of Plenty last week to help New Zealand Police ensure residents in affected areas had evacuated and secure the cordons.



3 Comments

Bad taste mate

Posted on 15-04-2017 16:28 | By Papamoaner

Easy to see you've never been involved with the military. I doubt your comments will offend. They'll just laugh it off. They're above it. Find a different target. You're a wasted force.

Fair enough

Posted on 13-04-2017 19:38 | By maildrop

Not being funny but isn't this part of their job? Given they are not off fighting wars I'm wondering what the NZDF actually do in non war time? Volunteers fair enough, good on them, but paid Defence Force personnel? They should be put to work shifting sand rather than in mess reading comics. Taxpayers money should be fully utilised.

It's times like this

Posted on 13-04-2017 15:57 | By Papamoaner

We really appreciate our defence force. They are always there for us when the magnitude of events gets beyond Police resources. And let's not forget all those volunteers and local body workers too.For a population of a mere 4.7 million, we are a durable grunty little nation.

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Monarch butterflies enjoying the sun. Photo: Glenice McDonald. Send us your photos from around the Bay of Plenty. photos@thesun.co.nz