Fuseworks Media

‘Volunteer group answers call for disaster relief at home after international aid’

Volunteers of New Zealand based disaster relief organisation Taskforce Kiwi have experienced their busiest Summer season to date, with multiple simultaneous operational deployments undertaken in Australia, Morocco, and Vanuatu. Now as one team prepares to deploy to Vanuatu to continue with tropical cyclone relief, another team is answering a call for bushfire relief much closer to home. On 14 February 2024 a large bushfire burned across sections of Port Hills above Christchurch, ultimately growing to 500 hectares in size with a fire perimeter of 24 kilometres, which led to a State of Emergency declared for the area.

The fire was eventually contained and the State of Emergency lifted on 21 February, however, fire crews have continued work to prevent further fires from reigniting. In the meantime, local residents who were originally evacuated have now been allowed to return to their homes to assess the damage to their properties. While overall property damage is considered minor, one home has been destroyed and several others have been significantly damaged.

To support affected residents as they get back on their feet, Taskforce Kiwi volunteers will be in the area to undertake relief efforts from Saturday 2 – Sunday 3 March 2024. The main focus for the experienced team of volunteers is debris clearance and removal, enabling affected residents to determine their next steps for rebuilding or repair work.

“While our teams have done incredible work overseas over the past two months, our priority will always be to support those doing it tough here at home”, says Richard Adams, National Director of Taskforce Kiwi and Christchurch resident. “The recent fires in the Port Hills are the latest in a series of disasters to strike communities in Aotearoa over the past year, and our volunteers will be doing everything they can to help those who need it”.

Taskforce Kiwi is a nationwide veteran-led disaster relief charity formed in 2022 to bridge the gaps in disaster response. They do this by utilising the skills and experience of former and serving defence and emergency services personnel alongside members of the wider community, providing direct assistance to impacted communities. At the same time they seek to provide a sense of purpose, identity and community to their volunteers.

 

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