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Home > Latest News > Media Releases > Media Releases 2012 > March 2012 > Minister thanks local emergency teams

Minister thanks local emergency teams

Monday, 19 March 2012 11:15 a.m.

Three Bay of Plenty Emergency Response teams received certificates of appreciation last week, during meetings with the Minister of Civil Defence, Chris Tremain.

The three teams - NZ-RT15 (Rotorua), NZ-RT16 (Tauranga) and NZ-RT17 (Whakatāne) - were deployed to assist with the search and rescue operations in Christchurch following the devastating earthquakes in February last year. 

Chair of the Bay of Plenty Joint Committee for Emergency Management, John Forbes said the volunteer response teams performed difficult but important work in the response effort. 

"We can't thank these people enough for what they did for our friends and family in Christchurch," Mr Forbes said. 

"Search and rescue work is physically and mentally painstaking and emotionally demanding, but our teams didn't hesitate to do everything they were asked.

"We are proud of the commitment of our people, the professional way they conducted themselves, and the selfless way they answered the call for help.

"The visit by the Minister and his presentations to our volunteers acknowledges that the efforts of the teams are appreciated.

"I also think the Minister's visit is a reflection of the high regard we hold for the skilled people we have here in the Bay of Plenty," he said.

If you'd like to know more, or want to volunteer to become a member of one of the response teams, please contact your local Emergency Management Office.

Western Bay of Plenty


Eastern Bay of Plenty

Alan Pearce

Pauline Hitchcock

Jim Tetlow

07 571 8002, or

07 351 8312, or

07 306 0527, or


To download high resolution images of the events, please click on the images below (hover mouse over image for caption).


Mayors and Minister Tremain (web)  Minister Tremain presents the certificate to Peter McCarthy, NZ-RT16 Tauranga team leader

Minister Tremain and the response team from the western Bay (web)  Tony Gillard, Aelan Keeber, Gitty Paalvast, Dan Thompson (web)

Whakatane's response team NZ-RT17 team leaders, Aelan Keeber and Tony Gillard (web)  Rotorua's response team NZ-RT15, Gitty Paalvast and Dan Thompson (web)

For media information, please contact Carol Nichols, Senior Communications Advisor on 0800 884 881 (x8150)

Civil defence logo

Tony Gillard, Aelan Keeber, Gitty Paalvast, Dan Thompson (web)