New Zealand gearing up to help Fiji recovery

  • 27/02/2016
The HMNZS Canterbury (NZ Defence Force)
The HMNZS Canterbury (NZ Defence Force)

The HMNZS Canterbury is being loaded with aid and equipment before heading to Fiji to support relief efforts in the wake of Cyclone Winston.

Tens of thousands of Fijians are homeless and living in evacuation shelters in the aftermath of the cyclone which killed 42 people.

The HMNZS Canterbury will be the hub of the joint task force set up by New Zealand to help Fiji.

It also headed off to help when Cyclone Pam devastated Vanuatu last year, a tsunami damaged Samoa in 2009 and was in port when an earthquake struck Christchurch five years ago, killing 185 people.

The HMNZS Wellington departed from Auckland's Devonport on Thursday afternoon with essential supplies such as building materials, water storage tanks, and medical supplies.

The New Zealand Defence Force has already provided aerial surveillance support to Fiji and 37 engineers arrived in Suva on Wednesday.

New Zealand is sending two NH90 medium utility helicopters, one Seasprite helicopter, one P-3K2 Orion surveillance aircraft, and about 200 engineers, drivers, sappers and medical personnel.

Colonel Glenn King is the commander of the joint task force.

The HMNZS Canterbury leaves on Sunday.