Staff helping out up north

Six staff and volunteers from the Waitaki District Council have gone to Christchurch to help with the ongoing relief effort from the earthquake, which hit the Canterbury area over a week ago, and its aftershocks.

Most staff would be based in Christchurch with Environment Canterbury (ECan) civil defence.

Civil defence director John Hamilton said building inspectors, public information officers, welfare officers and emergency centre staff were providing support.

Waitaki's emergency services manager Chris Raine said yesterday staff from Waitaki left on Sunday and would return tomorrow.

"Our staff and volunteers are well-trained and many have experience from the May flood in North Otago," he said.

Staff involved are Waitaki's planning and intelligence manager-operations manager Stephen Halliwell, logistics support Gerry O'Neill, welfare manager Alison Banks, planning and intelligence manager David Campbell, roading engineer Geoff Young and Rural Support Adverse Trust (operations) Dave Mellish.

Building inspectors Merv Smith and Peter Newton have returned to Oamaru after assisting for three days in Christchurch.

"More staff may provide support in the future," Mr Raine said.

The council advised the absence of staff may cause delays in some areas.

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