New Zealand High Commission Canberra, Australia
Australian Police thanked for quake help
Police Minister Judith Collins has thanked her Australian counterparts for the assistance of Australian Police officers following the devastating Christchurch earthquake.
Ms Collins has written to the Federal Government and the Police Ministers from South Australia, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, Northern Territory, Western Australia and New South Wales to convey the New Zealand Government’s appreciation for their help.
Around 300 Police officers from throughout Australia began arriving in Christchurch on 25 February.
“Police members have worked tirelessly with their New Zealand counterparts in very difficult circumstances that have included extensively damaged buildings, distressed citizens and frequent aftershocks,” Ms Collins said.
“Their collaboration with our Police in maintaining law and order and their assistance to local emergency services has been outstanding.”
Ms Collins also acknowledged the contribution by Australian Police and other specialists who have been involved in the challenging task of disaster victim identification (DVI).
“On behalf of the New Zealand Government and, especially the people of Christchurch, I would like to thank you for the outstanding response in the aftermath of this disaster,” Ms Collins said.
The first rotation of Australian Police, which is currently returning home, will be replaced by officers on a fresh 14-day rotation.
Ms Collins also paid tribute to Police and specialist personnel from countries such as Singapore, China, Thailand, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Israel and the United Kingdom who have been carrying out a range of general policing functions, as well as providing specialist expertise for the DVI process.
“When disaster struck Christchurch, our good friends overseas were quick to offer help. The courage and dedication of their Police and emergency services staff has been inspirational.”