TODAY |

Maritime safety push across Pacific in $16m NZ aid programme

New Zealand has launched a $16 million dollar aid programme to help with maritime safety in the Pacific region.

The New Zealand Defence Force is on the front line of pacific search and rescues - over three years to June 2017 it spent $13.5 million on 37 missions.

Earlier this year it was our air force that found the seven survivors from the Kiribati ferry disaster where over 90 people died.

An emergency beacon would have made all the difference, which is why New Zealand's donating them and other critical safety equipment to resource strapped island countries.

"To be able to share the knowledge and up-skill people in the search and rescue sector for Niue is fantastic," Coastguard NZ's Kerri Walker says.

Included in the programme is a search and rescue boat, with Coastguard New Zealand training local police to operate it.

Lifesaving skills and equipment its hoped will make a real difference to Pacific Islands which depend on the sea.

Niue is the latest to benefit from the programme that includes giving fishermen lifejackets and safety equipment. Source: 1 NEWS