NZ Defence Force team assist Niue health with Covid-19 response

NZDF Team Lead Jade Hamilton

A small team of five personnel from the New Zealand Defence Force arrived on the island last week alongside NZMAT to help with the island’s response to Covid-19. 

The team of five consists of the team lead, a health planner, a medic, logistics planner, and cultural advisor.

Team Lead Jade Hamilton spoke with BCN News yesterday morning who explained more about the work the team has been focusing on in the past week. 

“We work alongside the Medical Assistance Team, MFAT and other officials to support the Niuean government with their Covid response.”

Jade says that the team have been focusing on the logistical requirements in preparation for Niue’s Covid-19 contingency response plan particularly around procurement and stock-taking levels.  

”We’ve also worked with some of the data management systems to help to aid efficiency in that regard. We’ve also supported the community engagement that has been led by the Niuean government just to get key messages out to the community, to reassure the community and to provide tuition and education around the isolation measures, mask wearing and RATs testing.”

Two of the NZ Defence Force personnel were able to walk through Niue’s national broadcaster BCN and Radio Sunshine – the lifeline for public information especially during disasters – yesterday morning.

The BCN team have been working in the makeshift studios since the fire destroyed its main working facilities in the last two years.

BCN’s main generator was also shown to the personnel. The generator failed in the latest power outages in the past weeks. Affecting Radio Sunshine as the primary source for current news and information for the island and the people.

“It’s been an enjoyable stay so far in the first week of our deployment. It’s a beautiful country and beautiful people and we are grateful to be asked to come and support…We are glad to help them with preparations for the future,” says Jade.

Jades commends Niue’s response to Covid-19 as “very successful.”

The team will be departing the island next week Monday.

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