TC Winston

HMNZS Welligton arrives as NZ offers to send more engineers

The HMNZS Wellington arrived in Fiji yesterday with 60 tonnes of aid supplies and 71 military personnel ready to “get stuck in” and help the country clean up and rebuild. The Wellington will offload some supplies and pick up six members of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and refuel before heading north to the […]

Peni Shute

February 28, 2016 1:56 pm

The HMNZS Wellington arrived in Fiji yesterday with 60 tonnes of aid supplies and 71 military personnel ready to “get stuck in” and help the country clean up and rebuild.

The Wellington will offload some supplies and pick up six members of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and refuel before heading north to the Lau group of islands, the ship’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Matt Kaio said.

There it will deliver aid and check the harbour to identify a suitable spot for the Canterbury to operate from.

“We are working to the Fiji government’s priorities and their highest priority at the moment is for remote communities in the northern outlying islands to have access to food, water and shelter,” Mr Kaio said.

“Everyone is excited to be here and get stuck in and do our job. Fiji is a close neighbour and any good Kiwi will always help out his mates.”

The HMNZS Wellington n Fiji. Photo: New Zealand Defence Force
The HMNZS Wellington in Fiji. Photo: New Zealand Defence Force

New Zealand currently has 67 defense force personnel on the ground in Fiji with 72 more arriving on a naval vessel on Sunday, along with an engineering company of a 180 personnel.

To date, New Zealand has committed over $3.2m to the response, including immediate relief supplies and construction materials and also technical teams to help Fijian authorities assess the extent of the damage and plan a response as well as medical, engineering and water production teams to support the government of Fiji’s response.

New Zealand joins with others here today to offer our very sincere condolences to the people and government of Fiji for the terrible loss of life and economic, social and environmental devastation at the hands of Tropical Cyclone Winston.

We are very thankful for the preparedness and leadership of the Fijian Government  who ensured the consequences of Cyclone Winston was less severe to what it could otherwise have been.

New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully would also be in Fiji on Monday to offer his condolences in person and show support to the people and government of Fiji.

Military personnel offload aid supplies in Fiji. Photo: New Zealand Defence Force
Military personnel offload aid supplies in Fiji. Photo: New Zealand Defence Force

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