New Zealand Navy Assists Fiji Patrol Exclusive Economic Zone

Two of Fiji's Navy vessels in Australia for repairs

By Litia Cava

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, April 25, 2017) – The Royal New Zealand Navy inshore patrol vessel HMNZS Hawea is expected to assist in the patrol and security of Fiji's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) because two Fiji Navy vessels have been taken to Australia for repairs.

Minister for Defence and National Security Ratu Inoke Kubuabola confirmed this outside Parliament yesterday.

"The NZ Defence minister has kindly agreed to send this boat to help with the surveillance and monitoring of our EEZ, also on the boat will be our naval officers and they will be part of the training," he said.

A statement by the New Zealand Defence Force yesterday said this would be the first time for a navy inshore patrol vessel to be deployed to the South Pacific.

New Zealand Maritime Component Commander Commodore Jim Gilmour said personnel from New Zealand's Ministry of Primary Industries, Fiji's Department of Fisheries and the Fiji Navy would join the patrols.

Fijian personnel will also play a role in planning the patrols.

"Operating in a combined way on these patrols provides an opportunity to support the Fijian Navy and learn from them in developing our capability in a range of general mariner skills," Commodore Gilmour said.

Under the NZDF's mutual assistance program, RFMF personnel attend a range of leadership and professional development courses conducted by the NZDF.

At present, there are seven RFMF personnel undertaking training with the NZDF.

Fiji Times Online.
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