NZDF Her­cules car­ries aid and per­son­nel to Indonesia

Bay of Plenty Times - - NATION - Her­ald Her­ald

A New Zealand De­fence Force Her­cules air­craft touched down in earth­quake- and tsunami-rav­aged Indonesia overnight Thurs­day with 8.2 tonnes of emer­gency aid.

The C-130 Her­cules and its 14-mem­ber de­tach­ment crew ar­rived at mid­night.

The air­craft’s cap­tain, Flight Lieu­tenant Dave Nat­apu, said the team was look­ing for­ward to get­ting “stuck in”.

“I think we can do a lot of good here.”

Last week, a mag­ni­tude 7.5 earth­quake, fol­lowed by a pow­er­ful tsunami, killed at least 1400 peo­ple and in­jured roughly 2500.

More than 80,000 peo­ple have been dis­placed and thou­sands of homes and build­ings in Palu and sur­round­ing ar­eas have been de­stroyed.

On Thurs­day, For­eign Min­is­ter Win­ston Peters — who ar­rived in Jakarta on Wed­nes­day for meet­ings with In­done­sian Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ters — an­nounced the Gov­ern­ment had de­ployed the Her­cules to pro­vide as­sis­tance.

Ma­jor Gen­eral Tim Gall, Com­man­der Joint Forces New Zealand, said the Her­cules and its crew would stay and help trans­port aid sup­plies and emer­gency re­spon­ders to the quake-dam­aged city of Palu on Su­lawesi Is­land and other af­fected ar­eas start­ing yes­ter­day.

He said a multi­na­tional oper­a­tion to fly aid sup­plies to dis­as­ter zones has been staged out of Ba­lik­pa­pan — a port city 380km west of Palu.

“We will be work­ing with In­done­sian au­thor­i­ties and our in­ter­na­tional part­ners to pro­vide an air bridge be­tween Ba­lik­pa­pan and Palu and help bring aid sup­plies to where they are needed most.”

The United Na­tions hu­man­i­tar­ian agency, UNOCHA, es­ti­mates that about 190,000 peo­ple are in ur­gent need of hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance.

New Zealand aid to Indonesia has now topped $5 mil­lion, with the Gov­ern­ment com­mit­ting $3m to aid agen­cies, in­clud­ing the Red Cross, and $1.5m for “stand-by fund­ing” for the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity’s re­lief ef­forts.

“The scale of the re­lief ef­fort re­quired fol­low­ing last week’s earth­quake and tsunami is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly ap­par­ent, and there are many peo­ple in need of ur­gent hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance,” Peters said in a state­ment ear­lier this week. The chan­cel­lor of Massey Univer­sity has an­nounced a re­view into the process sur­round­ing the re­cent can­cel­la­tion of Don Brash’s ap­pear­ance at a stu­dent politics club.

Massey Univer­sity Chan­cel­lor Michael Ahie said the univer­sity’s coun­cil was un­der­tak­ing an in­de­pen­dent re­view into the process sur­round­ing the can­cel­la­tion of the former Na­tional leader’s ap­pear­ance on the Manawatu¯ cam­pus.

“The Coun­cil has al­ready ex­pressed its sup­port and con­fi­dence in the Vice Chan­cel­lor and it is now seek­ing a re­view of the pro­cesses in­volved in the is­sue so that it can fully un­der­stand the lessons learned and have clar­ity over fu­ture events,” Ahie said.

The re­view will be un­der­taken by Dou­glas Martin, a former Deputy State Ser­vices Com­mis­sioner. Martin was sched­uled to re­port his find­ings and make rec­om­men­da­tions to the coun­cil by the end of Novem­ber.

Martin will fo­cus on the per­for­mance of the Univer­sity in ar­riv­ing at and man­ag­ing the con­se­quences of the de­ci­sion.

“As such, it will en­com­pass all as­pects of or­gan­i­sa­tional per­for­mance and a sum­mary of the find­ings will be re­leased in the pub­lic in­ter­est,” Ahie said.

As de­tails of the Au­gust can­cel­la­tion be­came pub­lic, Brash told the he was “stunned” by the last-minute de­ci­sion and he called for Massey Univer­sity ViceChan­cel­lor Jan Thomas to re­sign over her “to­tally mis­lead­ing” ex­pla­na­tion.

Thomas cited se­cu­rity con­cerns in halt­ing the speech but doc­u­ments re­leased un­der the Of­fi­cial In­for­ma­tion Act (OIA) painted a dif­fer­ent story.

Doc­u­ments re­vealed in an OIA re­quest, by right-wing blog­ger David Far­rar, show se­cu­rity was not the main con­cern, with Thomas say­ing she didn’t want a “te tir­iti led univer­sity be seen to be en­dors­ing racist be­hav­iours”.

Brash told the the emails showed “weeks and weeks” of plan­ning had gone into try­ing to ban him from the cam­pus.

“I think she should very se­ri­ously con­sider her po­si­tion as vicechan­cel­lor, she has seen to be to­tally mis­lead­ing, if not ly­ing.”

At the time the univer­sity had re­sponded that the con­cern about the se­cu­rity threat was gen­uine.

PHOTO / FILE

An NZDF C-130 Her­cules is in Indonesia with 8.2 tonnes of emer­gency aid and 14 crew to as­sist quake- and tsunami-dam­aged Su­lawesi Is­land.

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