Defence Minister Max Bradford today welcomed Indonesia’s decision to accept assistance from a UN-mandated peacekeeping
force in East Timor.
“While New Zealand awaits a Security Council Resolution, and a possible time-line to send peacekeepers to East Timor,
“We are working closely with Australia, but the nature of any New Zealand contribution will be determined by what the UN
requires,” Mr Bradford said.
Mr Bradford confirmed the United States had offered New Zealand logistical support for any New Zealand peacekeeping
force and that a six-person Defence Force team had been despatched to Brisbane last night to work with Australian
Defence Force planners.
A New Zealand contingent of 350-plus personnel, including Iroquois helicopters, medical and logistical support goes on
14-day standby from tomorrow to go to East Timor, if asked.
Senior defence staff were investigating options of making New Zealand forces available earlier than this, Mr Bradford
A RNZAF C130 Hercules aircraft sent to Darwin to assist with the evacuation of UN staff from Dili had flown to the East
Timor capital yesterday to airlift UN staff back to Australia.
A second Hercules remained on standby in New Zealand. HMNZS Te Kaha remained on station off Darwin and would soon be
joined by the Navy’s tanker HMNZS Endeavour, Mr Bradford said.