New Zealand, we’re with you

Published 1:00pm 22 February 2023

New Zealand, we’re with you
Words by Kylie Knight

Image: Taken by the Japanese Himawari 8 weather satellite

As our friends in New Zealand struggle to comprehend the magnitude of the damage caused by Tropical cyclone Gabrielle, we in the Moreton Bay Region pledge our support and say ‘we’re with you’.

Gabrielle hit the north island on February 12, tracking down the east coast and causing widespread flooding and landslides.

The death toll was at 11 on Sunday but authorities are warning it could rise as rescuers reach hard-hit areas. Disruption to telecommunications has made it difficult to contact many people in the worst-affected districts.

Tens of thousands of homes remain without power and telecommunications, and fresh water is in short supply. Roads have also been damaged, hindering access for rescuers.

Australia has sent emergency responders to assist fire and emergency crews.

The Moreton Bay Region has a special relationship with New Zealand.

More than 20,000 New-Zealand-born residents call our region home and the relationship was strengthened when we hosted the New Zealand Warriors rugby league club for the 2022 season.

In November, a delegation of business leaders from the Moreton Bay Region joined Mayor Peter Flannery on a trade mission to the north island of New Zealand to strengthen business ties and explore investment opportunities. 

Mayor Flannery says the devastating scenes out of New Zealand have sent shockwaves through the Moreton Bay community.

“This region is no stranger to floods, and with 21,000 New Zealand expats living in Moreton Bay the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle is being felt here too,” he says.

“I’m asking our community to wrap their arms around the Kiwis they know right now. They have endured significant loss, but both our countries share a fighting spirit and ability to pick ourselves up in the wake of disaster.

“Just last year we hosted the New Zealand Warriors NRL team at Kayo Stadium in Redcliffe through a Council partnership that saw over 90 players and staff living locally as active members of our community. And in November I travelled across the ditch as part of a trade mission to strengthen our ties and business relations with New Zealand.

“New Zealanders are known for punching well above their weight on global, political and sporting matters so I know they’ll get through this.

“It will be a tough road ahead, but I want the people of New Zealand our local New Zealand population to know that the people of Moreton Bay are thinking of them.”

New Zealand, we’re with you
A scene from the New Zealand Red Cross fundraising video following the disaster.

How you can help

The New Zealand Red Cross has launched a disaster fundraiser. It says teams are working with emergency management agencies to deliver vital assistance in the hardest hit areas.

“That includes setting up and managing Civil Defence Centres, providing essential supplies such as stretchers, blankets, bedding and hygiene kits. We are deploying satellite phones, generators and other equipment,” it said on its website.

“Our trained Red Cross people have also provided crucial psychosocial support and practical help to those who have been forced to leave their homes.”

Head to the New Zealand Red Cross website or Facebook page for details and to donate.

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