In response to a request from the New Zealand Government, the Australian Defence Force will support the evacuation of people from the Kaikoura area who have been isolated following the earthquake that struck the South Island on Monday.
HMAS Darwin has been diverted from her planned participation in the International Naval Review in Auckland and is now steaming to Kaikoura.
It is anticipated that HMAS Darwin will arrive in Kaikoura on Wednesday evening and when in location her S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopter will support the evacuation of people, and the distribution of disaster relief stores if required.
“Having HMAS Darwin already in New Zealand has enabled us to respond quickly to this request,” Minister Payne said.
“While the Naval Review is important, helping the people who have been impacted directly by the earthquake is the highest priority.”
“Our thoughts are with those affected and we stand ready to provide additional support if it is requested.”
Henry Budd (Senator Payne’s office) 0429 531 143
Defence Media (02) 6127 1999