Tagata Pasifika

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Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Volunteers needed for South Auckland emergency response

Severe rain which caused significant flooding across Auckland, including South Auckland last year. Photo: David White/Stuff
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Local Democracy Reporting | Free Public Interest News Service

By Torika Tokalau of Local Democracy Reporting

The search is on for volunteers to join an emergency response team in South Auckland.

Auckland Council’s civil defence and emergency management committee chairperson councillor Sharon Stewart, in a statement, was urging South Aucklanders to put their hand up.

The Auckland Emergency Management was establishing a Response Team in the South, to help with future emergency events.

“The severe weather events of early 2023 illustrated the need for more hands on deck in times of crisis and that’s why we’re creating a new pool of Response Team volunteers in the South,” Stewart said.

“I urge anyone who wants to be part of this important team, to sign up and become a volunteer.”

She said Auckland needed everyday people to be part of emergency planning, response and recovery efforts.

“The time you give will make a real and meaningful difference to help people in times of need across Tāmaki Makaurau.”

No prior experience was required for those wanting to put their hand up to volunteer, but people must be aged 18 years or over to join, have a good level of fitness, and a commitment to help.

Successful volunteers would be trained in areas involving helicopters, 4WD vehicles, chainsaws and swift water, and would be deployed to areas in need, not only to the South.

Stewart said the volunteer tasks could include providing welfare needs to the community, helping to rescue people affected by severe weather, transporting goods to isolated communities and intelligence and information gathering.

Response Team volunteers would also be involved in inter-agency training and exercises, attending community days and promoting emergency preparedness.

Auckland Emergency Management general manager Adam Maggs said volunteers were an integral part of any emergency response.

“Having a response team in the South will be a huge boost for our ability to deal with an emergency response in Tāmaki Makaurau,” Maggs said.

“Auckland’s level of emergency preparedness and our effectiveness in responding to emergency events depends in large part on volunteers.

He thanked each-and-every volunteer for their valuable time and effort.

“We are proud of you and the mahi you do.”

The establishment of the Response Team in the South complements the existing response teams on the North Shore and in west Auckland.

Local democracy reporting

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