Offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Wellington will visit Kaikoura tomorrow after completion of compliance patrols in support of CCAMLR to show continued support for the earthquake-stricken seaside community.
14 December 2016
Offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Wellington will visit Kaikoura tomorrow to show continued support for the earthquake-stricken seaside community.
Lieutenant Commander (LTCDR) Matt Kaio, the Commanding Officer of Wellington, said the ship will stop at Kaikoura for a one-day goodwill visit en route to Auckland after conducting a successful fisheries patrol in the Southern Ocean.
“It’s really about showing solidarity and continued support for Kaikoura as it starts on the path to recovery. The community has shown remarkable resilience in the face of challenges resulting from the earthquake, so there has never been a more crucial time to stand with them,” LTCDR Kaio said.
About 30 crew members from Wellington and 10 New Zealand Army soldiers will visit three primary schools to play sports with the students and host a sausage sizzle for them. The sailors will then visit the township to engage with the local community.
Members of Coastguard Kaikoura and their families will also be given a tour of the ship. The local coastguard helped crew from amphibious sealift vessel HMNZS Canterbury evacuate tourists and residents from Kaikoura last month.
Wellington arrived in Kaikoura on 16 November, two days after the earthquake struck North Canterbury, to support the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) disaster relief operation. A Littoral Warfare Unit embarked on the ship surveyed approaches for landing craft and anchorage positions, paving the way for Canterbury to bring aid supplies to the coastal town.
The ship and a P-3K2 Orion surveillance aircraft from the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s 5 Squadron have just completed compliance patrols in the Southern Ocean as part of a multi-agency operation in support of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). The CCAMLR co-operatively conserves the Antarctic marine ecosystem and regulates the Southern Ocean fisheries.
Ten licensed fishing vessels were boarded and checked for compliance by a boarding party comprised of fishery officers from the Ministry for Primary Industries and crew from Wellington. The Orion spotted another eight fishing vessels during a patrol on 30 November.
The NZDF continues to remain on standby to respond to any incident or request from the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand, or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in the Southern Ocean.