13 Jan 2011

Another NZ team to be sent to flood-hit state

3:05 pm on 13 January 2011

Civil Defence in New Zealand has begun selecting volunteers for a second emergency response team to go to Queensland.

A team of 15 has been in the western part of the flood-stricken state since Saturday.

Civil Defence director John Hamilton says the second team should be ready to leave by the middle of next week, depending on flights and emergency requirements in Queensland.

Mr Hamilton says the first team remains based in the town of Miles, 350km west of Brisbane, which is now isolated by flood waters and they are working to clean properties inundated by flood waters.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand Red Cross is to send four emergency managers to Queensland to help with the flooding crisis.

Operations manager Andrew McKie says they are experienced in dealing with disaster situations, including the big Canterbury earthquake in September last year.

The managers will work in the emergency operations centre in Brisbane to give some of the Australian staff a rest, especially those whose own homes have been flooded.

The New Zealand team leave on Friday morning.

Money not goods preferred

The New Zealand Red Cross is urging people to give money, not goods as donations for flood-striken Queensland.

The organisation has opened an Australian Floods Fund to help raise money.

KiwiBank, ASB, National and ANZ have set up appeals which are also being fed into the Red Cross fund.

The Red Cross says it is encourages people to give funds because donated goods can cost far more to send to affected areas.

Mr McKie says all money donated will be forwarded to the Australian Red Cross.