NZDF Hercules carries aid and personnel to Indonesia
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.
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.