Tokelauans are to have more drinking water on tap following a major logistical operation by the New Zealand Defence Force.
Air crew on a RNZAF NH90 helicopter deliver an underslung load of equipment. A specialist team from NZ Army’s 5 Movements Company offloaded equipment in landing zones on the atolls. Photo: © Crown Copyright 2020, New Zealand Defence Force. Licenced under Creative Commons BY 4.0.
The NZDF operation also delivered equipment to assist Tokelau’s plans for greater use of renewable energy.
Over the past few weeks the Royal New Zealand Navy ship HMNZS Canterbury has visited Fakaofo, Nukunonu and Atafu atolls, using helicopters to deliver equipment for Tokelau’s development plans.
Forty-eight 15,000 and 10,000 litre water tanks are to be installed at schools and hospitals to ensure clean water is available for community use and as additional emergency storage.
Tonnes of equipment including solar panels were also delivered.
The last piece of equipment to go ashore was a new generator for Atafu, where a back-up emergency generator had been running for several months
Tokelau wants to generate almost 100 percent of its power from renewable sources and is boosting drinking water collection on the atolls.
HMNZS Canterbury’s Commanding Officer Commander Martin Walker said they NZDF had received messages of thanks from Tokelauans.
“The infrastructure delivered will make a real difference, with more to come as they continue with the upgrade of renewable energy sources on the atolls,” Walker said.
“Everyone on the ship was pleased to be doing something useful for our neighbours in Tokelau.”
A water tank is disinfected on delivery in Tokelau by the NZDF. Photo: © Crown Copyright 2020, New Zealand Defence Force. Licenced under Creative Commons BY 4.0.
During the operation, military hydrographers surveyed narrow channels to the atolls to build on existing knowledge of routes.
A site for a proposed airstrip on Nukunonu was also surveyed.
NZDF technicians also carried out maintenance on an automatic weather station on Nukunonu.
Following the Tokelau operation, HMNZS Canterbury sailed to the Kermadec Islands to drop off and pick up six MetService and GNS Science staff who carried out maintenance activities including of a tsunami warning system and automatic weather station on Raoul Island.
Protocols for preventing any potential spread of Covid-19 were in place throughout the mission.
HMNZS Canterbury, pictured with Atafu atoll in the background. Photo: © Crown Copyright 2020, New Zealand Defence Force. Licenced under Creative Commons BY 4.0.
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