13 Oct 2009

Emotional support needed for High Commission staff

8:18 am on 13 October 2009

There are plans to provide emotional support for traumatised New Zealand High Commission staff in Samoa.

Consular staff have been working up to 20 hours per day since the tsunami on 29 September, that killed more than 140 people in Samoa, including eight New Zealanders

Staff say when there's a few minutes downtime, many take a break so they can cry.

High Commissioner Caroline Bilkey says her team has seen some awful things including severe injuries and distressed New Zealanders.

She says they will be looking at counselling support to help staff come to terms with the natural disaster and the toll it took on people.