21 September 2012
Lieutenant Commander Gerald Bradfield and Lieutenant Lachlan Whelan of the Royal New Zealand Navy with students from Mt Cook school.
New Zealand Defence Force and NZ Police personnel who will be deployed overseas on Christmas Day can expect a bit of Kiwi cheer thanks to Christmas parcels being packed today.
Volunteers from local RSAs and children from Mount Cook School in Wellington joined with NZ Defence Force and NZ Police personnel to help pack the parcels, which included lollies, biscuits, chewing gum and ingredients to make that all-time favourite "Kiwi" dip, as well as licorice and Christmas cards from pupils in Burnham, Linton, Trentham, Devonport, and Mount Cook School.
More than 350 parcels were packed, and will be sent to personnel on operations in 12 countries, including Afghanistan, Timor Leste, South Korea, South Sudan, Egypt and Antarctica.
"It’s not easy being away from family and friends at Christmas, so these parcels give our deployed people a small reminder of home.
"Our personnel do a great job on operations overseas, and we want them to know that we appreciate their hard work, especially over the holiday period," says Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, Major General Dave Gawn.
"This is the last year that a large number of parcels will be required for our larger deployments in Afghanistan and Timor-Leste as these missions come to a close.
RSA Christmas parcels have been sent to troops overseas since the First World War. Generous financial contributions from local RSAs, the Navy, Army, Air Force, and NZ Police Welfare Funds enable the parcels to be sent each year.
"The Christmas parcels mean so much to the RSA movement because it is our way of acknowledging the great work of Defence and Police personnel on deployment overseas, and of bringing us closer to them at this special time," says RSA National President Don McIver.
There are currently 376 NZ Defence Force personnel deployed on 14 operations and UN missions across 12 countries.
For further information please contact Todd O’Hara, Defence Communications Group, on 021 626 578