21 November 2016
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending more aid convoys to deliver vital supplies to earthquake-stricken Kaikoura.
“Now that there is controlled access by road between Culverden and Kaikoura, we will continue to transport the majority of aid supplies using NZDF vehicles until commercial vehicles are allowed access,” Major General (MAJGEN) Tim Gall, the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said.
“We are still using helicopters to reach those remote communities, helping to ensure that they are being provided with the assistance that they need.”
He said the focus on vehicle-delivered aid would give a much-needed respite to the NH90 medium utility helicopters and amphibious sealift vessel Canterbury, which have been deeply involved in the Government’s emergency response from the start.
“We need to utilise the various assets we have deployed to best effect so that if a new emergency arises, we are ready to respond,” MAJGEN Gall said.
Canterbury returned to Lyttelton on Sunday with 192 evacuees and will remain there until it receives new tasks.
A P-3K2 Orion surveillance aircraft from the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) conducted another survey of quake-damaged areas today. The survey, requested by KiwiRail, focused on the state of the rail network in North Canterbury.
Two RNZAF A109 helicopters are being used to transport NZ Police to conduct checks in remote areas of North Canterbury.
The NZDF has mobilised up to 615 people, 11 aircraft and four vessels to support the Government’s earthquake response. It has delivered about 250 tonnes of vital supplies to Kaikoura by land, sea and air, and rescued nearly 1000 people from the quake-damaged seaside community.