TC Winston

NZ defence minister visits Vanua Balavu

The New Zealand Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee visited Vanua Balavu yesterday to see first-hand New Zealand’s humanitarian aid operation on the Island. He was accompanied by Fiji’s Minister of Defence and National Security, Hon. Timoci Natuva and the Employment Minister Hon. Semi Koroilavesau and the commander Joint Forces New Zealand, Major General Tim Gall. Minister Brownlee […]

Nacanieli Tuilevuka

March 23, 2016 9:00 am

The New Zealand Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee visited Vanua Balavu yesterday to see first-hand New Zealand’s humanitarian aid operation on the Island.

He was accompanied by Fiji’s Minister of Defence and National Security, Hon. Timoci Natuva and the Employment Minister Hon. Semi Koroilavesau and the commander Joint Forces New Zealand, Major General Tim Gall.

New Zealand Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee, with Fiji's Minister for Defence, Timoci Natuva and Employment Minister, Semi Koroilavesau at the Suva Helicopter landing zone this afternoon. (Peni Shute/Newswire)
New Zealand Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee, with Fiji’s Minister for Defence, Timoci Natuva and Employment Minister, Semi Koroilavesau at the Suva Helicopter landing zone this afternoon. (Peni Shute/Newswire)

Minister Brownlee was grateful to Fiji’s Defence Minister Timoci Natuva for accompanying  him to Vanua Balavu.

So the work that the New Zealander Forces are doing here along with the Australian and many French troops as here as well , the sort of things where you have to get into the point where you can  recover. Now we can  have a discussion with the Fijan government about what more we able to do to help.

Minister Brownlee will be meeting today with the Minister of Defence Timoci Natuva, and Minister of Agriculture and Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu.

Minister Brownlee said that New Zealand has no plans yet to withdraw its soldiers even though there has been an extension date of the state of emergency.

Well we are going to have a talk about that with the ministers and make a decision on that but on this stage we don’t have any plans for any immediate pull out, there is still work to be done we can rotate more people in here if necessary.

I think it just indicating that New Zealand will want to be of assistance to Fiji for a long period of time because you know you don’t get over this in a few days or a few weeks or a few months, it years it involve and is a challenge for the Fijian government.

Minister Brownlee will be in the country for two days.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.