5 Jul 2010

New Zealand operation to provide humanitarian aid to Tuvalu

8:19 am on 5 July 2010

Over two hundred New Zealand airforce, navy and army officers are arriving in Tuvalu for a combined humanitarian/disaster response exercise.

Exercise Tropic Twilight is deploying so-called moving parts of New Zealand's military capability to help Tuvalu prepare emergency response systems in the event of a natural disaster.

The operation, which involves medics, tradesmen and builders, in addition to military, is also providing engineering, construction and medical capabilities throughout Tuvalu.

The lead planner of Tropic Twilight 2010, Major Mark Walters, says the exercise reflects the growing humanitarian focus of New Zealands foreign aid to the Pacific.

"So it has got a little balance of working scenario. But importantly, the stuff that we are going to do is real achievable aims that have a real benefit that is going to be long term, high quality, and is going to improve life across the biggest section of people we can possibly achieve."