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New Zealand thanks nations for offers of assistance

Hon Murray McCully
Minister of Foreign Affairs

23 February 2011

New Zealand thanks nations for offers of assistance

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Murray McCully today expressed New Zealand’s gratitude for the messages of condolence received and for the offers of assistance made by many countries to help New Zealand’s search and rescue efforts following yesterday’s earthquake in Christchurch.

"New Zealanders are deeply humbled by the messages of support and offers of specialist search and rescue help that have flooded in over the past 24 hours from other countries. Support will be critical over the next few days as we reassess the specialist services required to speed the rescue operation.

"New Zealand has received offers of help from numerous friends overseas. We have accepted offers from Australia, USA, Singapore, Japan, United Kingdom, and Taiwan.

"We are constantly assessing the needs and several offers of help remain under consideration," says Mr McCully.

• From Australia – a search and rescue team of 40 people arrived at 5:30am this morning. A second team is arriving today at 3:00pm.

• From Singapore – a contingent of military staff present in New Zealand has been engaged to help. In addition, a Disaster Assistance and Relief Team of 55 people will arrive tonight at 8:30pm and two more aircraft are due to arrive tomorrow with additional equipment.

• From the USA – a specialist search and rescue team of 75 personnel will arrive tomorrow morning.

• From Japan – a search and rescue team of 60 personnel is on its way and expected to arrive tomorrow.

• From the United Kingdom - a specialised search and rescue team of 63 people is in the air and will arrive tomorrow night.

"We know there will be many people around the world anxious to contact family and friends who are visiting or living in Christchurch. We are in close contact with foreign missions in New Zealand to offer our assistance," Mr McCully says.

ENDS

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