Supporting flood-hit communities
Assistance was needed rapidly for many in the North Island after the recent disastrous flooding. Thinking inside the box and above and beyond the everyday has been vital for ensuring isolated communities can receive the necessary care and support.
When things are their worst, people are often at their best. Yes, it might be a cliché, but it has never been truer for New Zealanders as we work to stitch communities back together after Cyclone Gabrielle.
Every little bit helps too. Which is why here in Palmerston North we’re working to support the Rapid Relief Team (RRT) by packing food boxes and care kits to go out to the people of Tairāwhiti Gisborne.
So far RRT volunteers have packed over 1000 boxes of much-needed food supplies. These boxes have been flown over to Wairoa – now one of the most isolated townships in New Zealand after flood waters ravaged the road.
It truly is an effort by many. Along with support from the New Zealand Food Network and Civil Defence (and the skills of pilot Jessica Smith from Taupo Tandem Skydiving and a trusty Cessna Caravan), RRT was able to drop the resources in areas that were inaccessible directly after the flooding.
Matt and Garth from Universal Packaging were amongst those packing boxes in the distribution centre.
“It (the flooding) was an enormous event which is demanding an equally big response,” says Matt. “This will only be the start of what’s needed in the days, weeks and years ahead.”
“As you pack each box you’re acutely aware of where it will be heading – and how those receiving one may have lost such a huge amount,” says Garth. “It’s good to be part of such a positive response, and a responsibility we don’t take lightly.”
Devastating can only begin to describe the impact on these communities. Our thoughts continue to be with those in the Northland and East Coast areas who face a mammoth clean-up effort, and members of emergency service and NZDF teams who are providing stability during these difficult times.