Buzz from the Beehive: nine NZ personnel head for Europe while peace-keeping deployment in Solomons is extended

The PM has been focussed on the horrors of the war in Ukraine and on offering Kiwi help while her Foreign Affairs Minister – doubtless with a wary eye on China – has been fixed on helping maintain peace and stability in the Solomon Islands.

Two of their colleagues, meanwhile, were fascinated by the glitz of Hollywood and the pizzaz of the Academy Awards presentation (although this was not without a moment of violence).

On the home front, other members of the Ardern team variously were announcing –

  • The introduction of the Fair Pay Agreements Bill to Parliament.  These agreements are intended to improve wages and conditions for employees, encourage businesses to invest in training, “and level the playing field so that employers who are trying hard to offer fair terms don’t get undercut and disadvantaged”. This means the government aims to reduce a company’s ability to compete.
  • Awards of funding (described as a $3.6 million investment) to 16 national and regional organisations to increase opportunities for young people with disabilities in sport and recreation. Moreover, Sport and Recreation minister Grant Robertson has dipped into “my Ministerial Discretionary Fund” to support Special Olympics with a $44,000 grant.
  • The closure of depleted scallop fisheries in Northland and most of the Coromandel to allow them to recover.

What might have sounded like a bold decision to provide further military support to Ukraine as it defends itself against Russian invaders actually entails the dispatch of nine Defence Force staff to other countries in Europe.

These staff will not be going to the conflict.  Rather, the nine New Zealand Defence Force personnel will be deployed to the United Kingdom and Belgium,

“… to support our partners in intelligence and engagement work, over the next three months,” Jacinda Ardern said.

Seven NZDF intelligence analysts will go to the UK to assist with the heightened demand for intelligence assessments.

Some will directly support intelligence work on the Ukraine war, and some will join existing teams focused on other parts of the world.

Two other officers will deploy to the UK and Belgium to enhance New Zealand’s engagement with, and understanding of, partner activities related to Ukraine.

One will work with the existing Defence Attaché and NZ military representative to NATO, and one will work within the UK’s Permanent Joint Headquarters.

Cabinet has also approved the use of the Defence Force’s open source intelligence capabilities for three months to support the UK and other European partners.

This military support is in addition to the $6 million in humanitarian assistance, and the establishment of a special Ukraine visa for family members of Ukrainian New Zealanders, for which 264 applications have been made and 46 visas have been issued.

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One thought on “Buzz from the Beehive: nine NZ personnel head for Europe while peace-keeping deployment in Solomons is extended

  1. Hi,
    In Relation to the Solomon Islands.
    The Leader of the Solomon’s is trying to use the Chinese to create a one party state out of the Solomon Islands
    The current Leader is very corrupt and that’s why there is riots, He doesn’t want the bother of elections.
    Tonga is another Pacific Island that has Problems sucking up to the Chinese.
    Les

    Like

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