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Kiwi Defence Minister To Talk With Govt On Help

New Zealand Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee will hold talks with Government today to discuss how they can further assist with humanitarian aid in cyclone hit areas around the country. Mr
23 Mar 2016 11:12
Kiwi Defence Minister To Talk With Govt On Help
Fijian Defence Minister Timoci Natuva (left), with his New Zealand counterpart Gerry Brownlee in Suva yesterday. Photo: Ronald Kumar
New Zealand Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee will hold talks with Government today to discuss how they can further assist with humanitarian aid in cyclone hit areas around the country.

Mr Brownlee is expected to meet with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Minister for Defence Timoci Natuva, Minister for Agriculture and Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu and the Head of Delegation of the International Federation of the Red Cross Ahmad Sami.

Mr Brownlee said the meeting was an indication of New Zealand’s commitment to help Fiji recover from the cyclone.

“This is just indicating that New Zealand will want to be of assistance to Fiji for a long period of time because you don’t get over this in a few days, weeks or months; it will take years,” Mr Brownlee said.

“It is a big challenge for the Fijian Government and I am sure that the planning in place will work well but we want to assist anywhere we can.”

Mr Brownlee said the Government had well organised programmes to get to the recovery point.

“The challenge though is very big; I was the Minister for Earthquake in Christchurch and I know it takes a very long period of time to recover.

“The work that New Zealand Defence Force is doing alongside the Australians and French troops here, as well is the sort of things you need to do where it gets to the point.

“I will have discussions with the Fijians on what more we are able to do.”

Mr Brownlee said there were no plans yet to withdraw New Zealand Defence Force personnel from cyclone hit areas around the country.

“We will meet with the Fijian Government and then make a decision on that, but at this stage we got no plans for an immediate pull out, there is still more work to be done and we can rotate more people in here if necessary,” he said.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback: arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

 

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