Parliament

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

 

NZ to help Thais with forensic work

Hon Phil Goff Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

10 January 2005

NZ to help Thais with forensic work

The government is to provide Thai authorities with a New Zealand-developed victim identification software package to help identify victims of the Boxing Day tsunami, Foreign Minister Phil Goff announced today.

“A request for this assistance was made last week when I visited the Wat Yang Yao mortuary in Phuket. After seeing the aftermath of the tsunami first hand, and seeing the tremendous work forensic staff are doing in Thailand, I agreed New Zealand would help," Mr Goff said.

“Providing this vital resource is a good example of the very tangible assistance a small, innovative country like New Zealand can provide.

"The scale of the disaster has been beyond what anyone involved in forensic DNA recovery work had ever envisaged, and Thailand has only recently set up a national DNA laboratory with the assistance of Environmental Science and Research Ltd (ESR).

"ESR is now customising disaster victim identification software to integrate into the laboratory's existing DNA sample management system. ESR staff are currently en-route to Thailand to install the software, train local staff and help the laboratory consolidate their victim identification processes so they work most effectively with the database.

“Currently each country with victims is responsible for providing ante-mortem DNA samples to the International Victim Identification Co-ordination Centre in Phuket. There are literally thousands of these samples that will be recorded using the software and then matched to post-mortem DNA samples from the victims.

“This is a very important process which will help bring closure to many families around the world who lost loved ones as a result of the tsunami,” Mr Goff said.

NZAID, the government’s aid agency, is meeting the $250,000 cost of the ESR package, which is in additional to the $10 million New Zealand has already committed to emergency relief efforts.

Mr Goff said the government was currently considering an enhanced package of tsunami relief that would probably be announced after Cabinet next Tuesday.

"The Prime Minister and I began working on the package in Jakarta and continued to work on it over the weekend in discussion with the Finance Minister and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

"The package will be a mixture of immediate assistance and longer-term reconstruction. It will be a significant amount, commensurate with the generosity of New Zealanders and the scale of the disaster. "I welcome Don Brash's support for my having foreshadowed the package. It's a pity he went on to seek political capital by trying to write himself into the story after two weeks of silence.

"It is well known the government has already committed itself to a $250 million refit of the Hercules, which is in stark contrast to the lack of any programme under National for work on air transport planes.

"I regret that Dr Brash feels the need to belittle his country by calling problems with the Hercules 'a national embarrassment'. The RNZAF has in fact done a sterling job in delivering tonnes of aid and supplies with three aircraft in an unprecedented commitment to disaster relief. Other countries, including Australia, have acknowledged the effort New Zealand is making, which is large in proportion to our size."

Mr Goff said the Prime Minister was likely to shortly announce plans for a day of remembrance for those who died in the tsunami.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election