John Key confirms deployment to Iraq

By Ripeka Timutimu

Prime Minister John Key confirmed today that up to 106 New Zealand Defence personnel will be sent to Iraq to train local security forces.

MPs debated the issue in the House today and our reporter, and Te Kāea was there to listen to the proceedings.

There was obvious disagreement over the announcement in the House today.  It was John Key and his government alone that decided upon this agreement, with the Opposition MPs left powerless.

They say that John Key is merely bowing to the needs of America and Great Britain.

There are images that have shocked the world and shocked John Key into action.

Key says, “The Government has decided to deploy a non-combat training mission to Iraq to contribute to the international fight against ISIL.”

His decision has drawn criticism from all sides of the House.

Labour leader Andrew Little says, “We won’t win the war against the Islamic state through the Iraqi army.  We will deal with it when we deal with the underlying causes.”

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says, “We face military tragedy, and we'll soon face civilian tragedy and I want to look in the faces of those people that thought this was a fair prospect to take this front.”

For one Vietnam War veteran, he says Māori have no business participating in wars throughout the world.

Kingi Taurua says, “Māori should stay at home.  Send Pākehā soldiers to fight for someone else's independence.  I'm against it.  The Prime Minister gave an assurance that NZ personnel would only be involved in training security forces in Iraq.  But some say lives will still be at risk.”

Minister Te Ururoa Flavell says, “By sending training troops to the Iraq region we effectively raise our heads above the parapet.  This decision increases the chances of Aotearoa being targets for rogue ISIS.”

The first deployment will take place in May to Camp Taji with a review of the situation after nine months.