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NZDF support to the Auckland flood response

The New Zealand Defence Force stands ready to assist civil defence authorities with the flooding response.

02 February, 2023

Click here for the latest live updates on the support to Auckland and the upper North Island following severe weather.

Local Emergency Response Groups at RNZAF Base Auckland (Whenuapai), Devonport Naval Base and 1 (NZ) Brigade at Linton Military Camp have been on notice to move to support local tasks across any affected area.

There are likely to be fewer requests for NZDF support in Auckland as the situation has moved from an immediate emergency response to the recovery phase.

The NZDF has liaison officers in the National Emergency Management Agency, Auckland ECC, and liaison officers plus assistants in three civil defence centres in Auckland. 

Thursday, 2 February:

Teams of personnel from the Royal New Zealand Air Force and Royal New Zealand Navy went to several locations in Auckland this morning to help communities with the removal of flood-damaged waste, such as household furnishings, for collection by commercial waste management contractors. Twenty personnel were involved.

The teams went to Milford, Mt Eden and Pukekohe. 

A team of four personnel from RNZAF Base Auckland (Whenuapai) was today assisting with the pack-up and relocation of displaced people who have been staying at the Kelston Civil Defence Centre. This centre is relocating to Henderson. 

Wednesday, 1 February

Crew on a SH-2G(I) Seasprite helicopter took Auckland Emergency Management staff on a reconnaissance flight over areas of Auckland to assess flood damage and waste build-up. RNZAF personnel provided analysis of imagery from the flight to assist Auckland Council with waste management planning. 

Personnel also assisted residents in Waimoko, who had asked for help with clearing flooded housing, moving gear and loading skip bins.

Tuesday, 31 January:

A team of 25 personnel from RNZAF Base Auckland (Whenuapai) were on stand-by to assist with community clean-up in two Auckland suburbs. The NZDF sent small reconnaissance teams to Sunnynook and Mangere to scope the tasks and although they were not needed to help with a community clean-up, while they were in these communities they assisted where possible, including with picking up rubbish from the flood damage.

Two Unimog trucks, each with three personnel on board, travelled to Kaitaia, Northland, to be ready to assist with evacuations if needed. A third Unimog went from Auckland to Whangarei. 

A Unimog truck also went to Warkworth ahead of the worst of the weather. Supplies including sleeping bags and stretchers had already been made available to the Warkworth Civil Defence Centre.

The NZDF has liaison officers (LO) in situ or on call at seven emergency control centres and civil defence centres to help coordinate requests for assistance as required. This includes an LO in the National Emergency Management Agency, an LO in the Auckland Emergency Control Centre, and an LO in the Northland Emergency Control Centre. Liaison officers are also in the Kelston Civil Defence Centre and the Warkworth Civil Defence Centre, with others on call for the North Shore Civil Defence Centre and the Manurewa Civil Defence Centre. Another person from RNZAF Base Auckland has also gone to Kelston Civil Defence Centre to assist as required. Two personnel from RNZAF Base Auckland assisted with the setting up the Kumeu Evacuation Centre.

Basic supplies such as towels, toilet paper, baby food, nappies, and sanitiser have been provided to civil defence centres.

Over the weekend (27-30 Jan):

Crew on our RNZAF C-130 Hercules transported the Prime Minister, and staff from the National Emergency Management Agency and Fire and Emergency NZ to Auckland on Saturday. The Prime Minister was taken up on one of our Seasprite helicopters to survey the damage from the air on Saturday. A Unimog truck also took supplies up to Warkworth on Saturday.

On Friday night, six Royal New Zealand Air Force firefighters – using a domestic fire appliance, Unimog truck and four-wheel drive vehicle - were out with Fire and Emergency NZ assisting with evacuations, and a liaison officer went to West Harbour Fire Station to assist with coordinating the response from our team.