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HMNZS Canterbury on Raoul resupply mission

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/03/2017

The New Zealand Defence is on a resupply mission to Raoul Island, transporting 50 government staff and equipment for three agencies doing scientific work there.

The amphibious sealift vessel HMNZS Canterbury and an RNZAF Seasprite helicopter set off from Auckland this week and are set to return on March 30.

Among those on the trip are about 40 Department of Conservation workers, including botanists and engineers, who will carry out maintenance on several buildings and a solar-power generation system.

Five rangers will replace the five stationed on the island.

DOC operations manager Geoff Woodhouse says having access to the Canterbury and helicopter support meant the department could transport its largest contingent to date.

As well as food supplies, the cargo includes 10 tonnes of corrugated iron roofing, four 30,000-litre water tanks, four roller doors, a tractor, a tandem trailer and several tonnes of building materials.

MetService and GNS Science are also sending staff.

MetService personnel will assess the agency's facilities on the island and teach the DOC team how to operate an upper air sounding programme, in which weather balloons are released.

The GNS team includes three commercial divers who will service the tsunami gauges that form part of the New Zealand tsunami-detection network.

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