15 June 2011
NZ Army personnel continue to work around the clock in support of Christchurch earthquake recovery efforts.
“Christchurch residents and business owners can be assured that we’re here for as long as we are needed,” said Burnham Military Camp’s Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Mike Duncan.
“Currently 22 personnel are dedicated to manning the five cordon points set up around the CBD Red Zone 24 hours a day,” he said.
The manning of the cordon is now being conducted by men and women from the Territorial Force who have taken time out from their regular day jobs to do their part. Currently soldiers from the 4th Otago Southland Regiment and the 2nd Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast Regiment are performing these duties.
It is expected that the Territorial Forces throughout the country will share the manning of the cordon for the next six months.
“It’s a long 12 hour shift, particularly in the middle of winter, but I am heartened by the stories that are coming back of the overwhelming support for the work our people are doing on the cordon each and every day,” said Lt Col Duncan.
“It’s not uncommon to see soldiers chatting with locals and visitors explaining to them the work that’s going on inside the Red Zone,” he said.
New Zealand Police have been conducting ongoing reassurance patrols in the suburbs since the February quake. An additional 30 personnel from NZ Army joined the Monday night patrol following the large aftershock.
"Our reputation as a trusted, disciplined and well organised group makes us ideal to work side-by-side with the Police in times like this.
“Local residents have told us that our physical presence provided them with much needed comfort, particularly when they were without power.
“We’ll continue to offer our support until Christchurch is well and truly back on its feet,” said Lt Col Duncan.
For further information please contact Miss Mel Weddell, Defence Communications Advisor (Southern) on 021 224