15 Jul 2013

Defence Force mission to Kiribati

8:05 pm on 15 July 2013

A New Zealand Defence Force deployment to Kiribati has begun. Army personnel will assist in the disposal of live ammunition left after the World War II Battle of Tarawa in 1943.

Soldiers will also conduct a hydrographic survey of the port at Betio, renovate buildings at the Kiribati Teachers College and a school and help refurbish a bridge, Radio New Zealand International reports.

The High Commissioner to Kiribati, Mike Walsh, says the presence of Defence Force personnel in Tarawa is part of New Zealand's development support for the island nation through the Pacific Partnership Programme.

Defence personnel will be in Tarawa until 26 July.