HMNZS Manawanui assists NDMO in delivering food and relief supplies following TC Mal

HMNZS Manawanui assists NDMO in delivering food and relief supplies following TC Mal

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Sunday 26/11/2023
Source: NZ High Commission

The Royal New Zealand Navy ship HMNZS Manawanui assisted the National Disaster Management Office in delivering food and other relief supplies across Fiji following Tropical Cyclone Mal.

The specialist dive and hydrographic vessel was near Fiji conducting a hydrographic survey as part of a planned seven-week deployment to the region when the request for assistance came in from the NDMO.

The New Zealand High Commission in Fiji says the ship took on six personnel from NDMO and supporting organisations, along with two 20-foot containers, holding approximately 700 bags of food.

The vessel visited Vatulele, Malolo, Mamanuca, Viwa, Waya and the Yasawa Islands off Viti Levu, allowing NDMO personnel to conduct initial damage assessments and deliver supplies.

HMNZS Manawanui’s Commanding Officer, Commander Yvonne Gray, says the ship’s crew were pleased to support the NDMO and the people of Fiji.

She says one of the many tasks for the New Zealand Defence Force is to respond to requests for assistance after adverse weather events, and they remain flexible and available to work with their Pacific neighbours when needed.

Commander Grey says their crew were able to pivot from their programmed tasking and assist the NDMO to carry out their vital work.

She adds with the help of HMNZS Manawanui, the NDMO team visited 35 villages in just four days, and this was a significant achievement for the NDMO and the ship’s company, some of whom accompanied the teams ashore.

She says despite the circumstances, personnel from Manawanui teams were welcomed with open arms, and they really enjoyed engaging with the locals.

The ship will now continue its planned programme of hydrographic surveys and maritime security patrols before sailing to Vanuatu at the end of this month.

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