New Zealand Defence Force Contingent to Support Elections Arrive in Solomon Islands

The 89-member detachment the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) sent to support the upcoming April 17th national and provincial elections in the Solomon Islands arrived in the capital city of Honiara. The detachment arrived in the Solomons onboard the multi-role vessel, the HMNZS Canterbury, on April 4th and is part of a larger assistance package to support the election.

The Canterbury carried two Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 medium-life helicopters that will be used to transport election officials, polling boxes, and other materials to various locations throughout the country.

NZDF Colonel Anthony Childs said that the country “has always had a close relationship with Solomon Islands—most recently when the country hosted the Pacific Games last year, as well as our ongoing Solomon Islands assistance mission.”

The Solomon Islands Elections Commission confirmed that approximately 320 candidates will run in the elections. The commission said that approximately one million ballot papers arrived in the Solomons on April 2nd from Australia.