PTE Mark Campbell on patrol to the Carnation Sisters orphanage via the streets of Dili (AK08-0019-29)
5 February 2009
New Zealand Defence Force personnel will be finding time to celebrate Waitangi Day while continuing with their missions in countries spread throughout the world.
In Timor-Leste, the main contingent of the 156 personnel stationed there will be going about their usual routines on Waitangi Day, such as conducting patrols and vehicle checkpoints to assist United Nations and local police in maintaining security.
To round out Waitangi Weekend they will host a BBQ and a small hangi with invites to other Defence forces. The local NZDF Kapa Haka group has also been invited to perform at the NZ Ambassador’s residence.
In Afghanistan’s harsh winter, the 130 Kiwi troops in the Provincial Reconstruction Team will celebrate with a dinner, while the New Zealand personnel at the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Headquarters in Kabul are hosting a BBQ and Kiwiana night.
Although the wet season has settled in the Solomon Islands, the 44-strong mainly reservist contingent is hoping to grab a break at the local beach for a few hours over lunch.
The 26 New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel serving in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula will be carrying out their primary roles which include transport duties, escorting convoys and providing driver training and license testing for other personnel within the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO).
The day will conclude with a traditional Kiwi BBQ at the headquarters of NZDF’s longest contingent mission.
The NZDF’s southern most operation will not get the chance to celebrate Waitangi Day this year. The 84 personnel making up the Antarctic mission are currently engaged in one of the busiest periods of the year as they unload a ship and the Light Engineer team prepares to depart for home.
Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Major General Rhys Jones says: “While most New Zealanders will rightly enjoy the chance to celebrate Waitangi Day with a day off, over 450 personnel will be away from family and loved ones, serving New Zealand and working to bring peace and stability to over 16 different operations and UN Missions and cooperating in defence exercises around the world.“
Currently 453 New Zealand Defence Force personnel are deployed on 16 operations, UN missions and defence exercises around the world.
For more information please contact Nicole Munro-Johnson, Defence Communications Group: 04 529 6033, 021 569 148.