5 Jan 2011

NZ team to help with clean-up effort in Queensland

5:20 pm on 5 January 2011

A team of New Zealand volunteers are readying themselves to help with the clean-up in the Australian flood-stricken state of Queensland.

Nine people have died and about 200,000 are directly affected by the widespread flooding, which has caused billions of dollars of property damage.

Civil Defence New Zealand director John Hamilton says he has confirmed the team of 15 experienced volunteers from Auckland, Wellington, Manawatu and Canterbury.

Mr Hamilton says they have a range of practical experience, from sand-bagging through to running welfare centres and high-level emergency management.

The volunteers will leave for Brisbane either on Thursday or Friday.

The deployment follows a telephone call between the New Zealand and Australian prime ministers on Tuesday.