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Nepal-bound NZ search and rescue team stood down

New Zealand won't be sending an urban search and rescue team to Nepal, with the devastated nation saying it has enough capability at present.

More than 4000 people have died following the weekend's 7.8 magnitude earthquake, with the death toll expected to rise further.

New Zealand has made an initial contribution of $1 million to the relief effort, and had offered to send a 37-strong search team.

The team has been stood down, having been set to leave last night.

"Prior to their departure, the Nepalese Government informed us that they had enough USAR capability in-country and our team was no longer required," Foreign Minister Murray McCully says.

"We completely understand the Nepalese Government's decision and based on our own experience of managing the Christchurch earthquakes, we know that dealing with international offers of assistance can be fast moving and needs can change rapidly."

Mr McCully said the team would be ready to help if required at a later date.

Fourteen New Zealanders remain missing in Nepal, while another Kiwi had died in a non-earthquake related situation.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully says he is taking the advice of Nepalese authorities Source: 1 NEWS


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