NZDF delivers donated sportswear to Solomon Islands

The New Zealand Defence Force delivered more a tonne of donated sportswear to the Solomon Islands today to distribute to remote communities and the police force.

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) delivered more than a tonne of donated sportswear to the Solomon Islands today for distribution to remote communities and the police force.

The uniforms and T-shirts were donated by the World Masters Games 2017 (WMG2017) and Basketball Otago.

WMG2017 chief executive officer Jennah Wootten said contacts in the Solomons would be distributing the sportswear to remote communities.

The donations included T-shirts and surplus volunteer uniforms, Ms Wootten said.

“The WMG2017 saw this as an opportunity to extend the benefit of the Games around the Pacific.”

Basketball Otago general manager Justin Ludlow said representatives from New Zealand Police would hand the donated uniforms to the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force.

Their donation was prompted by a member of the New Zealand Police force who hailed from Otago and was currently posted in the Solomons, Mr Ludlow said.

“While playing basketball with his Solomon Islands colleagues he has observed the lack of uniforms, shoes and other stuff. We were in a fortunate position where we had excess uniforms, so we thought of putting these to good use.”

Air Commodore Darryn Webb, the Air Component Commander, said a Royal New Zealand Air Force Boeing 757–200 aircraft delivered the donated sportswear on a scheduled flight to Honiara today.

“Sport is an important part of the Solomon Islands culture, so we are pleased that we are able to help bring some joy to our neighbours. I know these uniforms will be warmly received,” Air Commodore Webb said.

Earlier this month, the NZDF delivered about a tonne of textbooks and children’s books to Honiara to help restock the sole public library in the South Pacific country’s capital. In February, an Air Force C-130 aircraft delivered more than three tonnes of donated textbooks to Fiji, and more than a tonne of children’s books to Papua New Guinea.

“The NZDF regularly assists in bringing charitable freight on scheduled flights to the South Pacific. We are always willing to lend a hand whenever we can,” Air Commodore Webb said.