Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Humanity Greater Than Any Act of Nature

1 MARCH 2011

Humanity Greater Than Any Act of Nature

We sometimes wonder in New Zealand who would come to the rescue if we ever needed help. After the earthquake struck Christchurch we found out.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the first international leader to address Parliament, said in her speech that while Australia has alliances and friendships around the world “New Zealand alone is family”. Following the earthquake she pledged to do everything Australia could to assist.

The support we have received from Australia is remarkable. Within hours, 150 search and rescue personnel from New South Wales and Queensland were dispatched, along with a 20-member medical team. 300 police officers have also been sent over, relieving pressure on the local police.

Other countries have also rushed to help. Singapore has made a massive contribution; 116 Singaporean Defence personnel were already in New Zealand, and have assisted with the security cordon in the Christchurch CBD. A further 55 search and rescue personnel have also been provided.

A Japanese team arrived on Thursday, with 67 personnel. The UK sent a team of 55, Taiwan sent 24 and the US dispatched a team of 80.

Our country has never been faced with the horror of war fought on our shores. Our isolation has long been our protection. Never before have we been faced with images of a major New Zealand city destroyed.

Like Coventry and Dresden, the sight of Christchurch Cathedral in ruins is a poignant image that will remain in our memories for generations. However, whereas Coventry and Dresden symbolise the futility of war, the image of the battered Christchurch Cathedral will remind us of the support we received from around the world in our time of need.

Thousands of kilometres from our nearest neighbours, it sometimes feels like we are floating, out on our own in the middle of the Pacific. The rest of the world showed us this week that this is not the case.

NZDF STEPS UP FOR CHRISTCHURCH

The earthquake operation is now the largest domestic operation that the New Zealand Defence Force that has ever undertaken. Well over a thousand NZDF personnel are directly involved round the clock.

History repeated itself when the earthquake hit Christchurch. HMNZS Canterbury was in Lyttelton, and Navy personnel were among the first to go to the aid of the residents. In 1931 the Royal Navy sloop HMS Veronica had just tied up in Napier when the Hawke’s Bay earthquake struck - sailors were the first on the scene in that disaster as well.

As well as the immediate response on shore, the Canterbury has prepared hundreds of meals at a time for residents of Lyttelton and the surrounding area. Burnham Military Camp is also providing thousands of meals a day for Police, Fire and Defence personnel.

Army water treatment units are producing 2000 litres of fresh water an hour.

The Air Force is playing a vital role, ferrying personnel and equipment into the region and establishing an air bridge between Christchurch and Wellington to evacuate injured people and foreign tourists stranded without accommodation or their belongings.

There is a long way to go for Canterbury but the Defence Force will be there too, doing whatever it can to help.

ASSISTANCE FOR CHRISTCHURCH

Tracy Kirkley from my North Shore office is part of a team helping to send some assistance to Christchurch.

If anyone would like to donate non-perishable food items or bottled water, please feel free to drop these into the electorate office at 15 Anzac St, Takapuna.

If anyone would like to make a cash donation, please visit: www.christchurchearthquakeappeal.govt.nz

Hon Dr Wayne Mapp

MP North Shore

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Gaza And Burning The Israeli Flag

One of the selling points in New Zealand’s campaign for a temporary seat on the Security Council is that we have a pluckily independent voice to offer on international conflicts.

This image is not entirely self-delusional. When we did occupy a temporary UN Security Council seat in the 1990s, New Zealand was forthright about the need for the international community to actively respond to the Rwanda genocide. On April 14, 1994, New Zealand, Nigeria and the Czech Republic were the only nations to call for a forceful UN intervention to halt the killings. It was a proud moment in the diplomatic record of the Bolger government.

What then, is the current National government doing with respect to the slaughter in Gaza? More>>

 

Parliament Today:

TAIC Report: Urgent Recommendations After Melling Rail Accident

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has made four urgent recommendations to KiwiRail following the accident two months ago (27 May) when a Matangi passenger train collided with a stop block at Melling Station, Lower Hutt. More>>

ALSO:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

EPA: Board Of Inquiry Rejects Basin Flyover By Majority Of 3 To 1

The independent Board of Inquiry delegated to decide on the Basin Bridge Proposal has, by a majority decision (3 to 1), cancelled the Transport Agency’s Notice of Requirement and declined its resource consent applications for the construction, operation and maintenance of a flyover on State Highway 1 in Wellington City... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Non-Apology To Tania Billingsley

The refusal by Prime Minister John Key to issue a personal apology to Tania Billingsley has been accompanied by an array of excuses... Yesterday though, Key’s choice of words indicated that an apology was the last thing on his mind. More>>

ALSO:

Conventions: Winston Peters On The Nation

Winston Peters opens door to standing in East Coast Bays electorate, says it's an "exciting point" and he's thinking about it. "I’ve had a whole lot of people writing to me and calling up and saying ‘why don’t you have a go in East Coast Bays’." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news