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Humanitarian assistance & disaster relief
When disaster strikes, putting life, health and property at risk, people’s lives are quickly turned upside-down. Communities, regions, or even whole countries can need help as quickly as possible.
Our Army is uniquely capable of responding quickly to unfolding events. We train to operate in tough conditions and a variety of environments. We are disciplined, well-coordinated and have personnel trained to operate in difficult situations, that can quickly deploy to a disaster site. The Army maintains experts who can assess the scale of the disaster situation and determine what to do with the people and equipment we have available.
In 2016, a magnitude 7.8 quake strikes Kaikōura in the middle of the night. Nationally significant and locally vital road and rail links are buried under enormous landslides, or distorted beyond repair. Landline and mobile phone services are down across the region. Power and water infrastructure is disrupted. From 12:02 am Monday 14 November, Kaikōura is cut off.
14 November 2016
Massive slips caused by Monday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake cut off land access to Kaikōura. Access and relief to the community – which includes hundreds of stranded tourists – can only happen in the short term by air and sea. Navy and Air Force arrive in Kaikōura to begin evacuations and provide short-term relief, meanwhile the Joint Forces Headquarters looks at how additional support and supplies can be transported by land.
Damage to infrastructure following eathquake on 14 Nov 16 near Kaikoura coast
17-18 November 2016
A convoy of 27 Army trucks are given the green light to head to Kaikōura after Army engineers complete a reconnaissance of the 100km inland route. The four-hour route from Culverden to Kaikōura is by no means easy. At certain points boulders and rocks teeter above the road, forcing the convoy to spread out to minimise damage if a boulder falls. The Army arrives with 44 tonnes of vital supplies including 7,320 litres of diesel, 1,540 litres of petrol and 10,000 litres of potable water. Army units establish field kitchens, while other personnel join forces with sailors to lend a helping hand in the community. Around 160 army personnel are involved.
The Army arrives with 44 tonnes of supplies including 7,320 litres of diesel, 1,540 litres of petrol and 10,000 litres of potable water
3rd Combat Service Support Battalion convoy making their way to Kaikoura to deliver Civil Defence support in 2016 following a magnitude 7.5 Earthquake.
21 November 2016
With controlled access by road between Culverden and Kaikōura now established, NZDF transports further supplies using Army vehicles.
In total, Army aid convoys account for 155 tonnes of relief, equivalent to 38 per cent of total aid delivered up to 23 November.