NEWS

New Zealand Defence Force Delivers Donated Equipment To Fiji And Samoa

The aircraft also flew 34 members of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces band to Tonga, where they will take part in celebrations for the King of Tonga’s 60th birthday on 4 July.
29 Jun 2019 10:45
New Zealand Defence Force Delivers Donated Equipment To Fiji And Samoa
Air Loadmaster Flight Sergeant Destry Tumataiki (centre) and Logistics Specialist Leading Aircraftman Frankie-Lee Murray-Birch (right), from the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s No.40 Squadron, help offload half a tonne of gym equipment donated by the Christchurch School of Gymnastics to the Gymnastics Federation of Fiji.

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has delivered a tonne of donated gym and hospital equipment to Fiji and Samoa.

Air Commodore Tim Walshe, the Air Component Commander, said a Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules on a scheduled training flight to the Pacific transported yesterday half a tonne of gym equipment to Fiji and another half a tonne of United States-donated hospital equipment to Samoa.

The aircraft also flew 34 members of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces band to Tonga, where they will take part in celebrations for the King of Tonga’s 60th birthday on 4 July.

“Our Defence Force regularly assists in transporting charitable freight on scheduled trips by our aircraft and vessels to the South Pacific. We lend a hand whenever we can,” Air Commodore Walshe said.

Avril Enslow, chief executive of the Christchurch School of Gymnastics, said the school donated the gym equipment to the Gymnastics Federation of Fiji to support the Oceania Gymnastics Union’s efforts to develop the sport in the region.

“The cost of equipment is prohibitive for these new federations that form part of the Oceania Gymnastics Union, so whenever we can we donate equipment to assist them,” Ms Enslow said.

Gymnastics Federation of Fiji president Darlene Underwood said the organisation’s the gym equipment would be used by the estimated 200 members of the federation.

“The donated equipment will enable us to conduct expanded programmes so our gymnasts can progress on a pathway towards Olympics, Commonwealth Games and international competitions,” she said.

“It will also help lift the profile of our sport and create greater awareness of the benefits of participating in gymnastics in Fiji.”

United States Ambassador Scott Brown said the US Indo-Pacific Command and US Embassy Wellington were donating the medical equipment to the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital, Samoa’s main hospital.

“We’ve purchased medical gear such as patient beds and crash carts here in New Zealand and without NZDF’s support getting them to Apia would have been extremely challenging,” he said.

“We have a great working relationship with the NZDF and this assistance is just another example of our cooperation in the Pacific.”

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