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Te Kaha to Gulf

16 June 1999 - MEDIA RELEASE - Max Bradford

Navy Frigate Te Kaha For Duty In The Gulf

The Government has agreed-in-principle to contribute the frigate HMNZS Te Kaha to the United Nations mandated Multinational Interception Force (MIF) in the Gulf for eight weeks, Minister of Defence Max Bradford announced today.

The MIF assists in policing and enforcing the UN sanctions on Iraq.

The sanctions are in place to encourage Iraq to compy with UN resolutions requiring the dismantling of its weapons of mass destruction.

HMNZS Te Kaha is scheduled to sail from Auckland on June 28th for Darwin where she will join the Navy's replenishment ship HMNZS Endeavour and participate in the Australian Defence Force sponsored exercise KAKADU IV to be held in the Darwin area from July 28 to August 13.

TE Kaha and Endeavour will then deploy to Singapore for the Five Power Defence Arrangements exercise STARDEX which runs from September 1st - 12th. Ships and aircraft from Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom will also participate.

HMNZS Te Kaha will then sail for the Gulf where she will join the United States led MIF.

Although international attention has recently focused on Kosovo and East Timor, we should not forget that Iraq has not yet complied with UN Security Council Resolutions on the abandonment of its weapons of mass destruction programme,? Mr Bradford said.

This latest deployment further underlines New Zealand's commitment to meeting its obligations as a good international citizen.

I have no doubt that HMNZS Te Kaha and its crew will achieve the same very high standards on this deployment to the Gulf as their predecessors did on their missions, concluded Mr Bradford.

New Zealand has contributed to the MIF on three previous occasions.

HMNZS Wellington served with the MIF in late 1995 for three months until early 1996 when she was replaced by HMNZS Canterbury and earlier this year a six person boarding party served on United States Navy ships with the MIF.

Each deployment has seen the ships and personnel of the Royal New Zealand Navy serve with a dedication and professionalism that drew the highest praise from the commander of the MIF.


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