BOP volunteers help in quake-ravaged cit

Western Bay of Plenty volunteers helping in earthquake-ravaged Christchurch hope they never have to carry out
the same job in their home patch.
The 10 members who make up New Zealand Rescue Team 16 arrived in Christchurch last Thursday, two days after the earthquake hit.

They drove from Tauranga in a convoy of vehicles with enough equipment and supplies to allow them to be self-sufficient for 72 hours.
Over the last week, they have helped secure and clear central city buildings damaged by the 6.3 magnitude earthquake.
NZRT 16 have also been working in the suburbs of Mount Pleasant and Red Cliff, carrying out welfare and building checks.
The volunteers are all trained in urban search and rescue, but team manager Shaun Thomson says they could not imagine having to do that work in the Western Bay of Plenty if a similar disaster struck.
“If it’s our house, or our own favourite building in town, that’s a different story.
“Your working in the parts of town you know. So the chances are you’re going to walk into someone you know.”
NZRT 16 has worked everyday since arriving in Christchurch, waking at 6am and working through until about 8.30pm.
They were based at a scout camp on the outskirts of the city, where sewerage and water is still operating.
Shaun says the devastation in Christchurch is much worse than he realised.
“The CBD is obviously a warzone. The TV hasn’t shown half of it.
“It’s indescribable. The roads are absolutely wrecked. It’s pretty touch and go.”
The team is returning to Tauranga this weekend. They are all grateful to employers who allowed them time off for the trip.




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