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Military engineers on humanitarian mission

Hon Mark Burton
16 September 2002

Military engineers on humanitarian mission

New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) members will spend a month in Afghanistan supporting the UN’s efforts to re-build Afghanistan’s damaged infrastructure, the Minister of Defence announced today.

Three NZDF engineer specialists will undertake the preliminary site survey of three bridges that have been identified by the UN as logistically important for civil aid tasks.

Minister of Defence Mark Burton commented on the posting.

“Re-building the air and roading infrastructure is critical to the successful provision of aid to Afghanistan.

“We are pleased to be able to support the UN in their humanitarian efforts in this area. The site survey is the first step in re-building these crucial links to aid agencies, and must be addressed before the onset of the Afghani winter.

“One of the goals in the Government’s Defence Policy Framework outlines our commitment to contributing to global security and peacekeeping by participating in a full range of UN humanitarian relief operations.

“Our NZDF engineers’ skills will be of great value to the UN. I am proud of them, and proud of the contribution New Zealand will be able to make to the people of Afghanistan.”

ENDS

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