Defence personnel get kiwi icons for Christmas

Packing of RNZRSA parcels for deployed personnel at HMNZS Olphert. LTCDR Glenn Avard, SQNLDR Nancy Kirby, WO1 Jerald Twomey parking boxes
Lieutenant Commander Glenn Avard, Squadron Leader Nancy Kirby, and Warrant Officer Jerald Twomey pack RSA Christmas parcels for deployed personnel. (WN10-0177-003)

13 September 2010

Most people don’t get Kiwi “icons” for Christmas but New Zealand Defence Force and New Zealand Police Force personnel who will be serving overseas on Christmas Day will receive some distinctly Kiwi items in a parcel of goodies from home.

The parcels, which include items such as Whittakers peanut slabs, Watties chilli sauce, Anzac biscuits, Marmite, chippies and onion dip ingredients, toothpaste and chewing gum, will be sent to 12 countries including Afghanistan, Antarctica, Solomon Islands, Korea and Timor Leste.

Over 523 parcels were packed today by volunteers from the Defence Force, cadet forces, NZ Police and Royal New Zealand Returned Service Association (RNZRSA).

“The RSA parcels bring a small part of New Zealand to those personnel who are away from their families at Christmas,” said Air Vice-Marshal Peter Stockwell, Commander Joint Forces New Zealand. “I am incredibly proud of the work our people do overseas and I hope that the parcels show them that we really appreciate the work they are doing, not just on Christmas Day, but every day.”

The RSA tradition of sending parcels to troops overseas began during World War I.  The annual project is funded by generous financial donations from local RSAs, New Zealand Police, and contributions from the Navy, Army and Air Force Central Welfare Funds.

Major Shay Bassett, who was helping pack parcels today said, “When we received our parcels in the middle of a Bosnian winter, it was a direct connection back home to the warm sunny Christmas we knew our families and friends were all having!"


Note: There are currently 489 New Zealand Defence Force personnel deployed on 14 peacekeeping operations, UN missions and defence exercises across 10 countries.

For further information please contact Ally Clelland, Defence Communications Group
04 496 0273 or 021 569 130

This page was last reviewed on 19 January 2011.