Announcement of New Zealand Defence Force personnel being deployed in a non-combat training mission to Iraq
On 24 February 2015, the government announced that the New Zealand Defence Force will deploy to Iraq in a non-combat training mission to build the capacity of the Iraqi security forces to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Up to 143 New Zealand Defence Force personnel were approved by Cabinet to deploy on a training mission, with the main body of the deployment expected to deploy in May 2015. The training of Iraqi security forces at Taji will cover a broad range of individual and organisational military skills so that Iraqi security forces can eventually assume responsibility for delivering their own training programmes.
The deployment will be for a period of two years from the time of arrival in Iraq with a review by Cabinet after nine months. The total cost of the two-year Building Partner Capacity deployment is assessed at approximately $65 million.
Review of the Iraq Deployment
On 21 March 2016, the Government reviewed New Zealand’s deployment to the Building Partner Capacity mission. The review highlighted that the joint Australia – New Zealand Building Partner Capacity training mission is performing well and is achieving the objectives set out in the Cabinet decision of February 2015.
Extension of the Iraq Deployment
On 20 June 2016, the Government decided to extend New Zealand's contribution to the Building Partner Capacity mission to 30 November 2018.
The Minister of Defence's press release regarding the extension is available on the Beehive website.
Cabinet decisions on scoping work
On 3 November 2014, Cabinet considered a proposal to send a scoping team to the Middle East to explore options for a New Zealand military contribution. The proposal and associated minute are set out below:
Cabinet decisions on the training mission
The Cabinet paper regarding the training mission to Iraq and the associated Cabinet minute are provided below. The paper was considered by the Cabinet on 23 February 2015:
Cabinet decisions on the review of the Iraq deployment
The Cabinet paper regarding the review of the Iraq deployment and the associated Cabinet minute are provided below. The paper was considered by the Cabinet on 21 March 2016:
Cabinet decisions on the extension of the Iraq deployment
The following provides information on the decision to extend New Zealand's commitment to Iraq and to support the delivery of training in Besmaya. The Cabinet paper regarding the extension of the Iraq deployment and the associated Cabinet minute are provided below. The paper was considered by the Cabinet on 20 June 2016:
Withholding information from documents
Certain information has been withheld from these documents, pursuant to 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)).
and withholding the information is necessary 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…and employees of any department or organisation in the course of their duty (section 9(2)(g)(i));
- maintain legal professional privilege (section 9(2)(h));
- enable a Minister of the Crown or any department or organisation holding the information to carry on, without prejudice or disadvantage, negotiations (section 9(2)(j)).
Message from the Chief of Defence Force
On 24 February 2015, following the government's announcement of its decision to send New Zealand Defence Force personnel on a non-combat training mission to Iraq, the Chief of Defence Force provided an address to media regarding the mission.
To read a transcript of Parliamentary questions related to the New Zealand Defence's training mission to Iraq please see the New Zealand Parliament website at the following link: