Unison's debut international aid effort

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Unison Group chief executive Ken Sutherland says a team from Unison will help disaster recovery efforts in Fiji.
Unison Group chief executive Ken Sutherland says a team from Unison will help disaster recovery efforts in Fiji.

Local lines company Unison has sent a team of linesmen to Fiji to assist in repair efforts following damage to the electricity distribution network caused by Tropical Cyclone Winston.

Unison Group chief executive, Ken Sutherland, said when the call came from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), the company was eager to support the Government's response.

"We have a number of Fijian staff in our team, some of whom have had families affected by the cyclone. That alone was cause to assist, but we also have strong capability in our team and know we can make a difference by helping to repair the damaged electricity infrastructure," Mr Sutherland said.

"Whilst there our crew will work with Top Energy staff under the direction of the Fiji Electricity Authority, and undertake tasks like disconnecting fallen lines from poles, clearing debris for the safe re-construction of power lines, re-erecting fallen power poles, re-stringing power lines and re-installing fallen transformers and other overhead distribution equipment."

The Unison team left for Fiji yesterday and will be deployed to Viti Levu. Team members will work on rotation for 21 days. If further assistance is required, Unison may send another team.

It is the company's first foreign response to a network affected by natural disasters.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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