Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Thoughts from Indonesia - Flying Officer Gemma Day

5 January 2005

Thoughts from Indonesia - Flying Officer Gemma Day

Flying Officer watches on as her team loads a RNZAF C-130 Hercules.

The day in Jakarta starts early for Flying Officer Gemma Day, who's in charge of loading badly needed aid on to two RNZAF C-130 Hercules flying in Indonesia.

It's the first time the young officer has been involved in a disaster relief operation, and she confesses she didn't know what to expect.

"We're a lot busier than I thought we would be, everyone's exhausted yet everyone wants to help."

Gemma, who's from Whangarei but posted to RNZAF Base Ohakea, deployed to Indonesia on the first C-130 Hercules, which left New Zealand on December 28.

As a member of the Air Load Team the hours are long and the work physical.

"We start at four in the morning and we have to load as much stores and as many people as we can."

" We have no idea what we're loading until we get on the tarmac then we have to put the aid in to pallets and load it on the aircraft."

The RNZAF Air Loading Team loads aid on to a C-130 Hercules bound fo Banda Aceh at Halim Airfield in Jakarta. An Indonesian Armed Forces Hercules can be seen in the backgroud.

The Air Load Team working out of Jakarta started with just three people, but has now been bolstered to a crew of eleven.

For Gemma seeing the aid get to the ravaged region of Ache has outweighed the heat and exhaustion.

" We heard people needed baby milk and baby products, so that's what we've been loading. It's nice to know that stuff is getting through to the people who need it."

But away from the airfield the scope of the disaster still hasn't hit home.

"It's quite surreal here in Jakarta as the whole place is up and running, but you know you're surrounded by death."

"I haven't had a good cry yet, but then again I haven't really had time to myself, it's just been too busy."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>

 

BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>

ALSO:

Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>

ALSO:

State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages