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NZ Red Cross team named to head to Australia

Published: 6:03AM Wednesday January 12, 2011 Source: ONE News

New Zealand Red Cross has named the four-person team being sent to boost the Australian Red Cross coordination capacity in the Queensland floods.

They are team leader Patrick Cummings (New Zealand Red Cross National Retail Manager and former Regional Manager, based in Hamilton), and members Graeme Langford (New Zealand Red Cross Northern Emergency Management Officer, based in Auckland), Nancy Kareroa (New Zealand Red Cross Northland Area Manager based in Whangarei), and Sally Wast (New Zealand Red Cross Southland Area Manager based in Invercargill).

Cummings has been briefed in Wellington today and will fly tomorrow to Brisbane.  Remaining team members will be briefed tomorrow and fly across on Friday.

Ten people are dead and 67 others are missing , with fears the death toll could rise dramatically in coming days, after torrents of water swept through communities west of Brisbane, including Toowoomba.

International Operations manager Andrew McKie said they would perform management functions to support the emergency coordination.

"We're sending some of our emergency management staff to boost Australian Red Cross coordination capacity after the dramatic worsening of the situation since yesterday," said McKie.

They are initially going for 10 days, working eight-hour shifts, but McKie said if required, there will be a rotation of staff after that.

Fifteen New Zealand Civil Defence workers have already been working in the Queensland town of Condamine, 360km west of Brisbane.

The New Zealanders had been assisting clean-up efforts in other areas, where homes were left in ruins after being submerged for 12 days.

Donation and contact details

The Red Cross is directing offers of donations to the Queensland Premier's Disaster Response Appeal.

The Queensland Police Hotline for URGENT enquiries about Australian citizens is 0061 7305 56220. Note this is for urgent enquiries only.

Kiwis wanting to know about New Zealanders in the area should first call the New Zealand Foreign Affairs Ministry on NZ 04 439 8000. Alternatively they can complete a form on the Red Cross website  which New Zealand Red Cross will send to Australian Red Cross.

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