27 February 2020
Drought-stricken Northland communities are receiving a boost from New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel, who are helping local agencies deal with the water shortage.
Mechanics, suppliers and drivers from the New Zealand Army’s 2 Combat Service Support Battalion, based at Linton Military Camp in Palmerston North, arrived in the Far North on Tuesday.
For the next two weeks the team will be based at Kaitaia to help supply areas that have been assessed by Civil Defence as being in the greatest need of water.
Second Lieutenant Josh Gaul-Crown said the team was working alongside other agencies to ensure the needs of the region were being met.
“Water is an important resource and we are happy to help the communities,” he said. “We are there to put our training to good use.”
Three medium heavy operation vehicles, each with tanks capable of carrying 5000 litres of water, plus a hired vehicle capable of carrying 7000 litres, will be used to deliver water to communities outside town supply.
Emergency water supplies will be topped up by the truck deliveries at locations in the Far North, including marae and community facilities.
NZDF involvement is part of a multi-agency response to the Northland drought, headed by the Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group.