16 Mar 2010

New Zealand aid plane ready to assist cyclone-stricken Fiji

5:19 pm on 16 March 2010

The New Zealand foreign minister, Murray McCully, says an air force Hercules cargo plane is on stand-by to head to Fiji as soon as weather conditions ease after Cyclone Tomas, Foreign Minister Murray McCully said today.

Mr McCully says the Fiji authorities have declared a state of disaster and requested international assistance after what is being described as one of the worst cyclones to hit Fiji in 20 years

He says New Zealand is working closely with its partners, France and Australia, on how to best respond to the situation in Fiji.

Mr McCully says New Zealand is always stands willing to help the people of Fiji in the face of natural disasters, and on-going political differences with the interim government will not inhibit the response.