21 Oct 2009

New Zealand Defence Force begins to wrap up in Samoa

8:09 am on 21 October 2009

The New Zealand Defence Force has begun to wrap up its relief effort in the Pacific following its response in the wake of last month's Tsunami.

The HMNZS Canterbury will leave Samoa today for the Tongan island, Niuatoputapu, where the Defence Force will continue its aid efforts.

Sam Morrah reports.

"More than 150 personnel have contributed relief in the Pacific, and the Defence Force is now scaling back its personnel and equipment. But, Commander Karl Harvey says the departure of Defence Force personnel does not signal the end of the assistance to Samoa. The New Zealand government has pledged about four and a half million US dollars to help rebuild infrastructure, restore essential services and encourage economic recovery. Commander Harvey says he hopes the contribution to the combined aid effort will help the people of Samoa and Tonga rebuild their communities and countries. More than 180 people died from the tsunami across Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga."