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NZ to assist with MH17 Disaster Victim Identification

Hon Murray McCully
Minister of Foreign Affairs

24 July 2014

NZ to assist with MH17 Disaster Victim Identification

Foreign Minister Murray McCully has announced that a team of three New Zealand Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) experts are due to depart for the Netherlands as part of international efforts to identify all 298 victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

“The crash of flight MH17 was a terrible tragedy and our thoughts are with the families of those affected,” Mr McCully says.

“Our DVI assistance, which will be provided by NZ Police, is New Zealand’s contribution to ensuring the victims are returned to their loved ones.

“New Zealand is encouraged that a process is under way to repatriate many of the bodies from the crash site to The Netherlands, and that the aircraft’s flight data recorders are now in safe custody. But much remains to be done. The crash site must be properly secured, with unimpeded access for the appropriate international investigating authorities.

“New Zealand Police have internationally recognised disaster identification expertise having responded to other tragedies such as the Christchurch earthquake and the Asian tsunami,” says Mr McCully.

New Zealand’s Ambassador to The Netherlands was present at the airport along with the Dutch Royal Family and Prime Minister when the first flight bringing bodies from Ukraine to the Netherlands arrived overnight. The NZ Police DVI team departs for the Netherlands today.

ENDS

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