18 October 2011
Over 370 New Zealand Defence Force personnel continue to support Maritime NZ, other Government agencies and the people of Tauranga with ships, aircraft and clean-up teams deployed to the area.
A team of specialists from the Navy Littoral Warfare Support Group have combined their skills, conducting daily underwater surveys of the shipping channel to track container movements and to confirm shipping lanes are clear of hazards.
“Maintaining an open channel for the movement of vessels into the Port of Tauranga is essential,” says Lieutenant Commander Deane Ingram, Commanding Officer of the Mine Counter Measures Team.
MANAWANUI, ROTOITI and PUKAKI continue to provide assistance - supplying imagery and information to Maritime NZ on MV RENA’s condition, as well as maritime exclusion zone patrols as required.
Seasprite and Iroquois helicopters are supporting Maritime NZ with aerial observation flights, transport of salvage experts to and from MV RENA, and night Search and Rescue Response standby.
Soldiers from Army units around the North Island are working alongside civilian volunteers on the beach clean-up effort, and assisting with transport of civilian volunteers.
“The team is pleased with the daily effort, though it’s dirty, messy, hard work. I’m proud of what they are achieving,” says Major Andrew Fortune.
A number of Defence personnel are assisting Maritime NZ with planning and liaison at the Incident Command Centre.
NZ Defence Force elements are also providing humanitarian aid to our Pacific neighbours in Tuvalu, in addition to continuing to meet our other global commitments with over 700 personnel currently deployed on operational missions and exercises around the world.
For further information, contact Major John Gordon in Tauranga on 021 478 574 or Kirsty Taylor-Doig on 021 806 926.