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Christmas Parcels For Kiwi Defence Personnel

Christmas Parcels For Kiwi Defence Personnel

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Gingernuts anyone? Navy Sub Lieutenant Elizabeth Lewer was among the NZDF and Police personnel packing parcels to be opened by military and police personnel who will be overseas on Christmas Day.

New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa

Media Release

18 September 2008


Most people don’t usually get Marmite for Christmas but New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel and members of the Police Force who will be overseas on Christmas Day will receive jars of Marmite among a parcel of Kiwi goodies from home.

Over 490 parcels were packed today by personnel from the NZDF, NZ Police personnel and Royal New Zealand Returned Service Association (RNZRSA). The parcels, which included items such as ANZAC biscuits, gingernuts, Marmite, Watties tomato sauce, chippies and onion dip ingredients, toothpaste and chewing gum will be sent to 13 countries including Afghanistan, Antarctica, Solomon Islands, Egypt and Timor Leste.

“The RSA parcels are a way to bring a small part of New Zealand to those personnel who are away from their families at Christmas,” said Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Major General Rhys Jones. “I am extremely proud of the work our people are doing overseas and I hope that seeing these typical Kiwi items will bring them all a smile on Christmas Day.”

The RSA tradition of sending parcels to troops overseas began during World War I. The annual project is funded by generous financial donations from local RSA branches throughout the country, contributions from both the Army and RNZAF Central Welfare Funds and individual members of the public.

Navy Leading Writer Rangitekohe Stark said she received a parcel when she was in the Persian Gulf on the HMNZS Te Kaha in 2003. She said, “It was fantastic to get a parcel from home. The chippies and dip went down a treat and I especially remember the tomato sauce.”


Note to editors: As at 18 September 2008 the New Zealand Defence Force had 661 personnel deployed on peacekeeping operations, UN missions, and defence exercises in 16 countries, including Afghanistan, Solomon Islands, Sinai and Timor Leste.

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