NZDF helps to refurbish Cooks schools, hospitals

A multi-national task group led by the New Zealand Defence Force is refurbishing several schools and health clinics in the northern Cook Islands as part of Exercise Tropic Twilight.

The senior national officer, Captain Andrew Blackburn, says the buildings are being refurbished to address potential electrical hazards and ensure they can better withstand cyclones.

Around 40 NZDF engineers, plumbers, carpenters and electricians are working alongside 20 military engineers from China, the United Kingdom and the United States to build a new fuel depot.

The depot will support maritime patrols working to combat illegal fishing in the northern Cooks.

Tropic Twilight aims to develop the NZDF's capability to deploy alongside other defence forces to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the southwest Pacific.