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NZDF Lends A Helping Hand To Honiara

Commanding Officer of HMNZS WELLINGTON LTCDR MacLean spends time with some local children.
Commanding Officer of HMNZS WELLINGTON LTCDR MacLean spends time with some local children.

28 August 2015

Providing first aid courses was just one of the community empowering activities that sailors from the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) Offshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS WELLINGTON took part in this week in Honiara.

Over the past few weeks HMNZS WELLINGTON has been upholding her strong presence in South Pacific waters through a number of joint boarding operations, patrols, and community liaison in collaboration with our Pacific partners.

The sailors have also been engaging with locals in Honiara and the Solomon Islands, through working parties, school visits, sports, and opening the ship to visitors which saw nearly 1,000 locals going on board to explore this capable Offshore Patrol Vessel. A group of sailors also conducted a two day basic first aid training course with about 36 Honiara City Council staff on board the HMNZS WELLINGTON. The purpose of which was to provide them with the knowledge and skills to support their community.

“The opportunity to be involved in the school visits and working bees in Honiara was a real privilege and I like to think that the New Zealand soldiers and sailors who fought to bring peace in the Solomon Islands during the Second World War would appreciate the furtherance of ties between New Zealand and the Solomon Islands achieved in some small way by these activities,” said Commanding Officer of HMNZS WELLINGTON Lieutenant Commander (LTCDR) Graham MacLean.

“Honiara and the Solomon Islands are very beautiful and the sailors of HMNZS WELLINGTON really enjoyed the opportunity to get involved in the civic aid, especially for the chance to meet the people of Honiara and be involved in their vibrant community.”

As well as lending a hand to enhance Honiara’s facilities and buildings through civic duties, the sailors took on some of the local council staff in friendly games of football and basketball.

“The painting activities at the Multi-Function Centre and the Health Clinic were incredibly satisfying and the chance to play sports with the locals was a lot of fun. We look forward to the next time HMNZS WELLINGTON will visit Honiara, whenever that will be,” said LTCDR MacLean.

HMNZS WELLINGTON arrives in Lae today and will spend the weekend engaging with the community and participating in civic duties.

ENDS

For more information please contact Defence Public Affairs on 021 487 980


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