Govt criticised for lack of details regarding deployment of troops to Iraq

By Maiki Sherman
  • Wellington

The Government has come under fire from opposition parties for not revealing more details around the deployment of NZ troops to Iraq in the fight against ISIS.

Today the first contingent of Australian soldiers was deployed and with our troops currently over there training, the question is whether they are also part of the departing contingent? 

Ron Mark is preparing to take off. He says John Key needs to reveal when NZ troops will be doing the same.   

"The Prime Minister has planned the deployment, he's signed off on it and he should announce that. He should make it known to the people of NZ exactly what stage the deployment of our troops is at and when they'll be arriving in Iraq." says Mark. 

NZ troops are currently training in Australia.  Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott yesterday announced the first group of soldiers would be leaving today for Iraq, however, John Key won't confirm whether NZ troops are part of that contingent.

Labour Party leader Andrew Little says he understands the sensitivities around releasing specific dates but says the NZ public deserves more than second-hand information from Australia.

Little says "We should never be finding out about what our troops are doing and when they are going through the Australian PM. They're our troops, the decision was taken by our govt, the issue was debated in our parliament." 

One of the major concerns is around legal security for our troops if they strike trouble while in Iraq. The current status is unknown. 

This Sunday PM Tony Abbott will arrive here in Wellington for ANZAC commemorations. No doubt he'll be questioned over details regarding the first deployment to touch down for the fight against ISIL.