Navy returns to Solomon Islands

  • Mark Burton

The Government has approved the return to Solomon Islands next week of the Navy's frigate HMNZS Te Mana, the Minister of Defence Mark Burton announced today.

"Te Mana will return to the Solomons for nearly three weeks as part of New Zealand's ongoing support to the Solomon Islands peace process.

"New Zealand accepts that it has special obligations to our Pacific neighbours to assist in maintaining peace and in the Solomons we are working closely with Australia," Mark Burton said.

Te Mana sails from Auckland on Sunday, April 22, and will relieve the Royal Australian Navy's ship HMAS Manoora on Friday April 27.

Te Mana will maintain a naval presence in the region until May 14 after which it will return to New Zealand.

Both the Te Mana and HMNZS Te Kaha were deployed to Solomon Islands last year and Te Kaha was used as a platform for peace talks.