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Last international USAR team leaves Christchurch

Hon Nathan Guy
Minister of Internal Affairs

17 March 2011 Media Statement

Last international USAR team leaves Christchurch

The Minister Responsible for the New Zealand Fire Service, Nathan Guy, has thanked the last of the international USAR teams who have left Christchurch today.

“The Queensland Fire and Rescue Task Force have left Christchurch today, and we are deeply grateful to them and all the other international USAR teams who helped us in our time of need.

“At its peak, around 600 USAR personnel were based in Latimer Square in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake. This included foreign personnel from Australia, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, China, USA and UK.

“Two weeks ago the operation moved from rescue to recovery, which has meant a change in focus. However a wide range of international personnel continue to help out with tasks such as policing and Disaster Victim Identification (DVI).

“It has been a particularly tough year for Australian USAR teams, who dealt with the Queensland floods in January and now the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

“On behalf of the New Zealand Government I want to thank all the USAR teams who have worked so hard in difficult conditions. I’m sure all New Zealanders are grateful for their courage and dedication.”


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