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HMNZS Taupo Adds to Operation Wasawasa’s Successful Work

HMNZS Taupo Adds to Operation Wasawasa’s Successful Work
The HMNZS Taupo leaving the Suva Harbour on August 12, 2018. Photo: Simione Haravanua
August 13
13:26 2018

HMNZS Taupo issued 47 infringement notices since it began joint operations with the Fijian Navy and other local stakeholders.

The Protector-class inshore patrol boat of the Royal New Zealand Navy was in Fiji for the past two-and-a-half months contributing to Operation Wasawasa II before it left for New Zealand yesterday.

New Zealand Defence adviser in Suva Lieutenant-Colonel Josh Wineera said the majority of the infringements were on safety issues.

There were also a number of infringements related to licencing, which Lieutenant-Colonel Wineera said continued to be a problem.

Operation Wasawasa II is a good model for collaboration between regional partners because we can’t stop this alone. We really need to be working together,” he said.

“Legal authorities like the Ministry of Fisheries and the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service can actually support in the issuing of infringements. This is important.”

Lieutenant-Colonel Wineera added that during their operation in Fiji, HMNZS Taupo had done a lot of training work with the Fijian authorities.

He said onboard with his team were nine Fijian Navy sailors and they had trained 15 others. They also had involved 12 fisheries officers and 10 FRCS officers.

“We managed to do lots of training and also collaboration with the Fijian authorities. New Zealand has been doing this security and support in the Fiji sovereignty for over 70 years so we have a long and proud history with the Fijian Government and its people,” Lieutenant-Colonel Wineera said.

HMNZS Taupo has really added to the legacy of Operation Wasawasa.

“So she’s got some pretty impressive statistics, she has been at sea for 36 days, she has travelled 6000 nautical miles, 11,000 kilometres, that’s the same distance from Fiji to New Zealand and return twice. She’s done 141 boarding and each individual boarding takes a lot of effort for the crew.

Operation Wasawasa was a massive success,” Lieutenant-Colonel Wineera said.

He commended Suva City for looking after the crew members while they stayed here.

“For many of them it was the first time to be offshore. They have been well looked-after here in Suva from shopkeepers to cafe and a number of other places. So thank you.”

HMNZS Taupo departed for New Zealand yesterday. A larger offshore patrol boat, HMNZS Otago, is due in Suva next month to replace it.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: selita.bolanavanua@fijisun.com.fj

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