Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


De-mining specialists deploy to Iraq

De-mining specialists deploy to Iraq

Minister of Defence Mark Burton today announced the departure date of two New Zealand Defence Force de-mining specialists.

Major Stephen Pantling and Major Todd Hart will leave on Saturday, 24 May, to join members of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in Kuwait, prior to being deployed to Iraq. The officers, both from 2 Land Force Group in Linton, will assist in the development of United Nations mine action rapid response plan for Iraq.

Mark Burton stressed the importance of the de-mining work.

“Humanitarian assistance cannot currently be undertaken safely in many parts of Iraq. Landmines and unexploded munitions are presenting a serious danger, both to the Iraqi people and aid workers.

“NZDF personnel have won international recognition for their expertise and capability in de-mining. Our role is to advise the UN during the establishment of their de-mining programme in Iraq, as well as to train the personnel who will be undertaking de-mining activities.

“As announced last month, New Zealand has also approved an additional 11 NZDF personnel for deployment on the request of UNMAS, to provide mine safety training and emergency assessments.

“De-mining is an NZDF specialty. I’m proud that New Zealand can continue to make a valuable contribution to humanitarian and reconstruction activities in post-conflict Iraq.”

Major Hart has been appointed operations officer with the Headquarters of UNMAS in Baghdad, while Major Pantling will act as a liaison officer in Basra.

In addition, an NZDF officer seconded to the UNMAS office in New York, Major Martyn Donoghue, has been deployed by the United Nations to Baghdad to help establish the headquarters.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Zimbabwe: New Democracy, Or A False Dawn?

Gordon Campbell: Robert Mugabe = Hosni Mubarak. The current jubilation on the streets of Harare at the fall of Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe is genuine, and one hates to be negative about the country’s future. Yet the situation is eerily similar to the scenes in Cairo in early 2011, when a popular uprising swept Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election