Media Release | 4 February 2022

New Zealand Red Cross teams are on the ground in Westport and other centres on the West Coast assisting with welfare support and logistics, as residents face their second major flood in seven months.

The teams are working alongside our disaster response partners Civil Defence Emergency Management, Police, Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) and others to support people affected by the floods. 

Twenty one Red Cross Disaster Welfare and Support Team volunteers from Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru and Greymouth are working to evacuate more than 150 households (and more underway).

New Zealand Red Cross is supplying 410 camp stretchers for welfare centres at Westport and Greymouth, along with other welfare supplies to support people overnight such as blankets and pillows.

Disaster Response Manager Jackie Bubb says the New Zealand Red Cross team has been welcoming people to the evacuation centres and they have a particular focus on looking after people’s wellbeing.

“The West Coast DHB asked us to provide what we call psychosocial support – checking people are OK, lending them an ear, and providing emotional and practical support. Reports from the team are that so far people are holding up well.

“This event is likely to be particularly distressing for those residents who are still recovering from the last flooding event only seven months ago. We want people to know we have highly trained volunteers who are there to support them.”

Additional New Zealand Red Cross emergency supplies and personnel and are on their way from Dunedin, as rain continues in the region.

ENDS

Media contact: media.comms@redcross.org.nz or call 04 495 0139.