Extension of training support commitment
The New Zealand Defence Force's commitment of trainers to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy has been extended to by 18 months to 30 June 2018. As part of this, the number of New Zealand personnel has been increased by two to a total of 10.
Since late 2013 the Defence Force has contributed eight personnel to the Academy to assist in building the capacity of the Afghan National Army. This contribution is part of United Kingdom-led work at the Academy, and NATO's Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.
The decision to extend the New Zealand commitment aligns with NATO's decision to extend the Resolute Support Mission beyond 2016.
The Minister of Defence's press statement on the decision to extend the training commitment is available from the Beehive website: https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/afghan-commitment-extended-and-increased.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs' press statement on the decision to extend financial support to Afghanistan is available from the Beehive website: https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/nz-supports-rule-law-afghanistan.
Cabinet decisions to extend
In June 2016, Cabinet considered the below proposal to extend the commitment by 12 months and to increase the number of personnel by two. Cabinet agreed that the commitment be extended by 18 months, and to the increase in personnel.
Certain information has been withheld from these documents, pursuant to the the following sections of the Official Information Act 1982, where making available that information would be likely to:
- prejudice the security or defence of New Zealand or the international relations of the Government of New Zealand (section 6(a));
- prejudice the entrusting of information to the Government of New Zealand on a basis of confidence by the Government of any other country or any agency of such a Government (section 6(b)(i))
- endanger the safety of any person (section 6(d)).
Certain information has also been withheld to maintain the effective conduct of public affairs through the free and frank expression of opinions by or between or to Ministers of the Crown or members of an organisation or officers and employees of any department or organisation in the course of their duty (section 9(2)(g)(i)).