Have hammer, will travel

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Queenstowner Charlotte Carter (left) is swapping her Air New Zealand uniform for a hard hat and tool belt to help out in tsunami-battered Samoa. 

She’s among eight of the airline’s nationwide staff chosen to help rebuild housing on the stricken South Pacific island. 

The airport load controller was picked after winning a recent Air NZ competition that required her to pen a 250-word essay about what she could contribute in the troubled zone. 

“The gist of my entry was that I’d always wanted to help out in an area that’s suffered some kind of disaster but thought I didn’t have the right skills,” Carter says. 

“The call usually goes out for people like surgeons, doctors and engineers.” 

A massive rebuilding effort is underway in the wake of last September’s deadly wave that killed almost 200 people in the region. 

Carter, from Deer Park Heights, doesn’t mind a bit that she’ll be the only female in the Air NZ team flying to Samoa on March 16 for the five-day operation. 

“I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy and blokes are easier to get on with,” she explains. “I haven’t had my itinerary yet but I think I’ll have a hammer in my hand and be helping to rebuild houses in one of the worst hit areas.” 

Air NZ staff at Queenstown Airport have also been fundraising for Carter so she can take items like pens, cards and rugby balls to kids in Samoa. Frankton Ale House is also holding a quiz night next Wednesday.