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Government Should Ask Singapore And Indonesia for Help

Ron Mark MP
New Zealand First Deputy Leader
List MP based in Wairarapa

15 NOVEMBER 2016

GOVERNMENT SHOULD ASK SINGAPORE AND INDONESIA FOR HELP

New Zealand First congratulates the government for accepting the assistance of overseas militaries, but is puzzled why Singapore and Indonesia haven’t been asked given landing ships of those two navies are in New Zealand right now.

“If the intention is to get people out of Kaikoura and to get heavy earthmoving equipment in, along with food and water, then landing ships are purpose designed,” says Ron Mark, New Zealand First Defence Spokesperson and Deputy Leader.

“These vessels can generate fresh water, have kitchens capable of preparing bulk meals and offer medical facilities too. They are floating sea bases and could support and accommodate emergency workers too.

“Singapore’s RSS Resolution and Indonesia’s KRI Banda Aech are here now for the Navy’s 75thand could have easily sailed with HMNZS Canterbury.

RSS Resolution usually embarks two helicopters whereas our NH90’s are still not cleared to land on a ship at sea. The Singaporeans, in concert with the United States Navy, would have supplied four naval helicopters.

“Additionally, Resolution has an internal floodable well dock, which means she can operate her landing craft in rough water. Our HMNZS Canterbury is a converted ferry so doesn’t feature this and is limited to deploying her landing craft in calm seas.

“As each landing craft can carry 50 tonnes, about the weight of a Fonterra tanker, it means a lot of food, water and equipment could be landed. This gear is needed for the rebuild phase to help repair Kaikoura’s links from the inside out.

“We just want to know why these vessels, purpose built for humanitarian and disaster relief, are in Auckland when the need is in Kaikoura,” Mr Mark said.

ENDS


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