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Civil Defence and Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee has requested the New Zealand Defence Force to provide support to local authorities in Christchurch as they deal with the Port Hills fires.

“The Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group has offered its assistance to both Selwyn District Council and Christchurch City Council but at this time the councils have not declared a state of local emergency,” Mr Brownlee says.

“At the moment the response to the blazes is being coordinated by Rural Fire, not CDEM, out of the Selwyn District Council.

“The New Zealand Defence Force this afternoon deployed a Liaison Officer to work alongside the Selwyn Rural Fire Authority and to provide timely advice to Defence on what further support they can provide.

“NZDF will send forward logistics personnel and equipment from Burnham Military Camp.

“Engineering equipment, water tankers and manpower options that will support cordons, firebreaks, and firefighters will also be deployed.

“Since yesterday, six NZDF firefighters and two appliances have been assisting in Early Valley Rd, near Kennedy’s Bush southwest of the city,” Mr Brownlee says.

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