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Bulk of NZDF staff return home from Fiji

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 20/04/2016
© Naval Photographic Unit/AAP Image

The bulk of New Zealand Defence Force staff deployed on its humanitarian mission to cyclone-ravaged Fiji are arriving home after seven weeks.

About 300 NZDF personnel will arrive back on New Zealand soil on Thursday afternoon as the flagship for mission, the HMNZS Canterbury, docks at Devonport Naval Base in Auckland.

Major General Tim Gall said the organisation repaired schools, medical and community buildings, restored access to safe drinking water and delivered essential aid supplies as part of their deployment.

The NZDF sent about 150 combat engineers, tradespeople, plant operators, and medical personnel from the New Zealand Army as well as a 55-member detachment from the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

Overall, close to 500 personnel were deployed.

Two ships and seven aircraft were also sent to Fiji in one of the NZDF's largest peacetime deployments to the Pacific.

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