The help of New Zealand soldiers is being welcomed by Fijians left devastated by Tropical Cyclone Winston last week.
A team of eight engineers from the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) and 17 from the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) have been deployed to Driti, a seaside village about 50km north of Suva, which bore the full brunt of Winston's destruction.
Up to 90 per cent of homes, schools and other buildings in the village were damaged in the category five cyclone.
The NZDF released a statement today expressing the locals' gratitude.
"I can't believe it when my 5-year-old daughter told me that New Zealand soldiers have come to help our village. I rushed out and true enough, the Kiwis were clearing the fallen trees and removing other debris," 45-year-old housewife Usenia Nemai said.
"I'm thankful and very happy that they have come to help us. Without them, it would have taken us more than a month to clean up."
By the time the cyclone moved on, Nemai's two-bedroom home had been reduced to a heap of firewood.
"My husband and I huddled with our five kids in one bedroom. We braced for the worst but until the storm ripped the roof over our heads and knocked over the entire house, we had no idea how horrifying it could be. We were scared and we ran as fast as we could to my parents' house nearby," she said.
Fijian officials have also welcomed New Zealand's help.
"It's been about 11 years since New Zealand soldiers have been to Fiji. It's great working with them again. I am glad they are back," said Warrant Officer Class 2 Simione Kanarogo of the RFMF, who trained as a field engineer at the New Zealand Army's Linton and Waiouru military camps.