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HMNZS Canterbury’s departure for Fiji welcomed

Press Release – New Zealand Government

HMNZS Canterburys departure for Fiji welcomed Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee has welcomed todays departure of the main New Zealand Defence Force contingent on the HMNZS Canterbury for Fiji with relief supplies, Army engineers and helicopters. …HMNZS Canterbury’s departure for Fiji welcomed

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee has welcomed today’s departure of the main New Zealand Defence Force contingent on the HMNZS Canterbury for Fiji with relief supplies, Army engineers and helicopters.

“This is just the latest component of the NZDF’s contribution to the relief effort in Fiji in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Winston,” Mr Brownlee says.

“First on the scene after Cyclone Winston was an Air Force P3K2 Orion doing reconnaissance work, followed by C-130 Hercules flights carrying initial relief supplies and personnel.”

An Air Force’s Boeing 757 was also involved, ferrying personnel and relief equipment and stores to Fiji.

The offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Wellington arrives today in Fiji carrying an engineering advance party as well as other personnel. It will work with the multi-role ship HMNZS Canterbury when it arrives.

The Canterbury is carrying more relief supplies as well as two Navy SH-2G Seasprites, two Air Force NH-90s, as well as an Army light engineering unit.

“Combined with its two integral landing craft, the Canterbury has the capability to get supplies and personnel where they are needed quickly on Fiji’s badly-hit smaller islands where there are limited or no facilities,” Mr Brownlee says.

“This large deployment of personnel, ships and aircraft shows how committed New Zealand is to support the Government and people of Fiji as they respond to this disaster.

“As with all of our Pacific neighbours, the NZDF stands ready to assist when such disasters occur.

“This response shows the value of the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercises the NZDF participates in on a regular basis, such as Tropic Twilight and Pacific Partnership,” Mr Brownlee says.

HMNZS Canterbury is due to arrive in Suva on Thursday 3 March.

ENDS

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