Audrey Young is the New Zealand Herald’s political editor.

NZ looks beyond Bamiyan switch

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp. Photo / Herald on Sunday
Defence Minister Wayne Mapp. Photo / Herald on Sunday

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp said New Zealand would continue to have a relationship with Bamiyan well after the transition to local rule in 2014.

His comments came after meeting Britain's special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, Mark Sedwill.

New Zealand's provincial reconstruction team is based in Bamiyan and by 2014 will move to a civilian development force.

Dr Mapp said Mr Sedwill had been looking for "an understanding that New Zealand's interest didn't just end with 2014" when control of security will return to local forces.

He said the most important thing New Zealand wanted to do after 2014 was to build economic capability and strengthen governance, especially in the justice area.

Dr Mapp said New Zealand had been trying to persuade Malaysia to have some input into the development of the justice system because it was an Islamic country like Afghanistan.

He thought Afghanistan could send officer cadets to New Zealand's Defence College but only one or two at a time, as was the case with other countries.

Mr Sedwill said in Wellington yesterday that Afghan National Security Forces would need support until at least 2024, and he expected Nato to start talking to all international forces about funding.

- Audrey Young and NZPA

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