Four more Northland Red Cross volunteers have been sent to earthquake struck Kaikoura to help with disaster relief work.
Squad leader Clint Sirl and Eugene Urlich, Pania Slade and Rene Kalkoff flew out of Whangarei yesterday morning for a six-day deployment to join hundreds of volunteers already on the ground.
On Friday, Northland Red Cross volunteers Steve Harwood and Victoria Randall flew out to Christchurch while two Northland Civil Defence workers, Susan Botting and Kim Abbott, left before the duo to help out in Wellington and Christchurch respectively.
Red Cross Northland community services' manager Nancy Kareroa-Yorke said the organisation was thankful to the families and employers of the volunteers for allowing them to respond so quickly.
She said New Zealand Red Cross was often seen as an international organisation but the deployments since last week were a great example of the international humanitarian organisation helping communities in need at home.
For two volunteers who left yesterday, it was their first deployment and they spoke about the challenges of working in a disaster zone.
"It's a mixture of excitement and nervousness but I am quite pleased to be able to help. All the training over many weekends and time off work will be put to use on the field," Mr Sirl said.
Mr Urlich is also on his first deployment and was excited and anxious.
"I feel for the victims of the earthquake because it's happened so close to Christmas and hopefully we'll be able to implement what we've learnt at training," he said.
Mrs Kareroa-Yorke said the four volunteers would be carrying out duties such as outreach programmes and food distribution but their tasks would become clearer after they arrived in Kaikoura.
"The team has received training in different areas of responding to a disaster. They are also doing psychological first aid because a lot of people are traumatised going through aftershocks."
Mrs Kareroa-Yorke urged people to donate to the Red Cross earthquake appeal online at www.redcross.org.nz/donate, texting REDCROSS to 3181 to make an instant $3 donation, donate at your local Red Cross or Red Cross shop, or by calling 0800 RED CROSS.
Whangarei Red Cross volunteers will be collecting donations at the artisans' market on the Canopy Bridge on Saturday.