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Kiwi Forces Depart On Canterbury

Kiwi Forces Depart On Canterbury
Colonel Glein King perform a traditional Maori greeting during the cocktail on board the HMSNZ Canterbury on Saturday night. Photo: PAULINI RATULAILAI
April 18
13:39 2016

The  HMNZS Canterbury carrying New Zealand Defence Force personnel left our shores for New Zealand yesterday.

The vessel arrived into the country in mid February to carry out humanitarian aid assistance in Vanuabalavu, days after the monster Tropical Cyclone Winston left destruction in various areas around the nation.

HMNZS Canterbury commanding officer, Commander Simon Rooke said  men and women on board the vessel would be leaving for home while a few were staying back to close down the mission.

“Over the last 50 days we were carrying out the mission given to us that is to carry out rehabilitation works in Vanuabalavu and now it’s time to go back home,” Commander Rooke said.

“The key thing has been established; the reconstruction of buildings, schools, medical centres and government quarters.

“Half a dozen schools in Vanuabalavu destroyed by the cyclone has reopened; children have started school and this also includes government centres, community buildings and also water distribution supplies

“We have managed to meet the needs of villagers on the island of Vanuabalavu; it is a joy for us to see them smiling after what they have been through.”

Commander Rooke said they had handed over their projects to Republic of the Fiji Military Forces engineers.

“RFMF engineers are currently on the ground carrying out the left over rehabilitation work which we weren’t able to complete due to our timeline,” he said.

Commander Rooke paid tribute to those in Vanuabalavu for assisting his men in carrying out rehabilitation works.

RFMF commander, Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto said the NZDF had done a tremendous job in Vanuabalavu.


Edited by Rusiate Mataika



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