The Government will deploy a C-130H Hercules and 50-strong team to Europe to further support Ukraine against Russia’s invasion.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the deployment pm Monday, with $13 million in further support including a contribution to the United Kindgom to procure weapons and ammunition.
“Our support is to assist the Ukraine Army to repel a brutal Russian invasion because peace in the region of Europe is essential for global stability,” says Ardern.
“Such a blatant attack on a country’s sovereignty is a threat to all of us and that’s why we too have a role to play.
“The global response has seen an unprecedented amount of military support pledged for Ukraine, and more help to transport and distribute it is urgently needed, and so we will do our bit to help.”
The measures decided by Cabinet include:
- The deployment of an NZDF C-130H Hercules transport aircraft and 50 support personnel to Europe – for two months
- A further NZDF 8-person team logistic specialists to support the international donor coordination centre in Germany with the flow of aid and supplies to Ukraine
- An extra $13.1 million, towards military and legal and human rights support, including:
- $7.5m t contribute to weapons and ammunition procurement by the United Kingdom
- $4.1m t support commercial satellite access for the Ukrainian Defence Intelligence
- $1m t the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
- $500,000 fr the International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court
“Our support to date has been comprehensive and covers every aspect of this conflict – humanitarian, legal, military, transportation, and people – and is in addition to the economic and trade sanctions we have put in place to help cripple the Russian economy.”
Over the next two months, NZ's C-130 will join a chain of military aircraft from partner nations, travelling throughout Europe carrying much-needed equipment and supplies to key distribution centres, but at no point will they enter Ukraine, nor have they been asked to, says Ardern.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a violation of international law, which is why we are supporting the International Criminal Court in their investigations to hold Russia to account.
“We will continue to answer to the calls of Ukraine, with regular reviews of how we can keep making the greatest difference.”
Defence Minister Peeni Henare is pleased New Zealand can offer the additional measures to both support the country's partners and Ukraine.
“These measures follow decisions in recent weeks by the Government to help support Ukraine, including the supply of a range of defence equipment requested by Ukraine, and the deployment of nine defence intelligence and liaison personnel.
“Over the next few months, our team will travel throughout Europe transporting much-needed equipment and supplies to key distribution centres, but at no point will they enter Ukraine. The Hercules is set to go on Wednesday.
“This deployment is in response to a direct ask by the UK, which identified that New Zealand could play a tangible role in supporting what has become an enormous logistical task.”
Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says Cabinet’s decisions are a further demonstration of New Zealand’s commitment to broader international efforts to support Ukraine.
“This package is a substantial further extension of what is already New Zealand’s most significant response to an international crisis in recent history. Supporting Ukraine’s self-defence is at a critical inflection point as we continue to respond to Ukraine’s broad range of needs and those of its people; be they military, economic, humanitarian or supporting legal international frameworks.
“We also continue work at pace to continue rolling out sanctions and target those associated with Russia’s egregious actions.”
Monday’s announcement brings New Zealand’s total contribution to the Ukraine to $30 million and 67 people deployed.