The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) will deploy around 100 personnel to Auckland communities this afternoon to help remove flood-damaged waste ahead of forecast severe weather.
The NZDF has also sent a team to Auckland from its Deployable Joint Inter-Agency Task Force (DJIATF), who will be ready to assist Auckland civil defence and emergency management authorities with coordinating emergency response efforts should this be needed.
“NZDF personnel are assisting Auckland authorities with recovery efforts following the 27 January flooding, and we’re also ready to respond in the event of a further emergency response,” said Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Rear Admiral Jim Gilmour.
In anticipation of the severe weather event from Cyclone Gabrielle forecast to arrive in the vicinity of Auckland early next week, Auckland Civil Defence Emergency Management has asked the NZDF to help implement the urgent aspects of its solid waste action plan.
Auckland authorities are concerned about the risk to people’s health from contaminated waste in and around homes, and that further severe weather could potentially see waterways contaminated with large piles of curb-side waste.
Teams of up to 30 Air Force and Navy personnel have been in communities last week helping get flood-damaged household furnishings and rubbish to the curb to be collected by Council Waste Solutions staff and trucks.
Yesterday, 52 NZDF personnel from Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Base Auckland (Whenuapai) and Devonport Naval Base were out helping clear flood-damaged waste in areas including Riverhead.
By this afternoon, around 40 Army, 30 Air Force and 30 Navy personnel will be assisting with waste removal and work over the weekend to help clear waste in anticipation of any potential impact from Cyclone Gabrielle.