3 Sep 2012

Pacific Partnership provides significant regional support: NZ Defence

4:04 am on 3 September 2012

A spokesperson for the New Zealand Defence Force says the United States-led Pacific Partnership provides significant humanitarian support to the region.

Planning for the multi-national exercise, which takes place annually, has just finished in New Zealand and next year defence teams from the US, Australia, French Polynesia, Japan and New Zealand will take part.

Major John Gordon says the aid exercise benefits both those giving the help as well as those getting it.

"We can validate what we do and learn lessons and see where we can do things better but it does actually provide a significant level of support to the Pacific. I think if you speak to people from those regions that do receive support they are extremely grateful and I know that our people when they go over are hosted very well and looked after by the communities."

Major John Gordon says the Pacific Partnership will provide medical and dental services to Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Samoa and Marshall Islands.

But he says the New Zealand contingent will focus on removing unexploded Second World War bombs from Kiribati.