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Disaster Welfare and Support Team - Invercargill


New Zealand Red Cross


Social Support





The New Zealand Red Cross mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilising the power of humanity and enhancing community resilience. Our Disaster Welfare Support Team (DWST) in Invercargill offers you a great opportunity to develop your own skills and also give back to the community in a time of emergency.

The Invercargill DWST volunteers have been deployed to the 2023 Cyclone Gabriele response and Auckland flooding, 2020 Southland Floods in Te Anau, Mataura and Gore, and were essential workers delivering food parcels around Southland during COVID lockdown.

This role would suit individuals who are:

  • Interested in Disaster Response or Emergency Preparedness
  • Motivated to respond to emergencies locally
  • If needed, able to travel throughout New Zealand to support other Red Cross teams

Along with being part of a tight-knit team, you will receive training in a variety of skills and participate in many personal development opportunities including:

  • comprehensive and psychological-first aid
  • personal preparedness
  • radio communications
  • driving the Disaster Welfare Support vehicles
  • ground-based rescue

Response tasks may include:

  • welfare support
  • community needs assessments
  • first aid
  • reconnaissance
  • ground-based rescue
  • casualty handling

Outside of responses, DWST teams may also help with event first aid and other wider Red Cross activities.

They are looking to grow the team and encourage anyone interested in Disaster Response or Disaster Preparedness or wanting to help during disasters to get in touch! Volunteers make a huge impact in these times of need, and being a part of this team is a wonderful way to contribute to local and national welfare.


This would suit someone who:

  • Is reliable and committed to attending training sessions and event support for at least one year.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to meet the needs of those requiring assistance.
  • Commits to the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement.
  • Has the ability to work with a diverse range of people.
  • Is able to maintain good spirits, even in adverse working conditions.

Practical requirements:

  • Ability to deploy for up to 5 days with potential travel days added either side, when responding to emergency events.
  • Willing to undertake a Police check.
  • Good level of fitness.
  • Aged 18+ (or at least 16 years old with parental consent and restrictions on deployment).
  • Driver's license (preferred)

A Police background check is required for this role.

Time commitment

  • The Invercargill DWST team trains on a Monday evening from 7pm-9pm.
  • There are also some weekend volunteering opportunities on occasion with supporting community events or joint training exercises.

Please note - our volunteers need to be available to deploy for periods of up to five days (excluding travel days) when responding to emergency events. Many of our volunteers have full-time or part-time jobs and work out an arrangement to support their volunteer work and remain flexible when emergencies occur. Often employers see value in the training the team members receive (first aid, leadership etc.) and proudly support their staff involved in DWST.

Getting started

The first step is to express your interest by filling out the form below. We will then put you in touch directly with the organisation for more information on the role and how to proceed.

Ref: 1968

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In applying for this position I confirm that I have read the requirements of the position and believe I have the skills and attributes required to carry out this role safely and effectively.