Nicholas Jones is a New Zealand Herald political reporter.

NZ Defence Force to stay in Afghanistan until 2018

Gerry Brownlee says in addition to the extension, Cabinet has agreed to increase the number of personnel deployed from eight to 10. Photo / File
Gerry Brownlee says in addition to the extension, Cabinet has agreed to increase the number of personnel deployed from eight to 10. Photo / File

A deployment of New Zealand military trainers will stay in Afghanistan until June 2018, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced.

"Since late 2013 the NZDF has contributed eight personnel to the academy to assist in building the capacity of the Afghan National Army," Mr Brownlee said.

"In addition to the extension, Cabinet has agreed to a request for the number of personnel deployed to be increased to 10."

The New Zealand personnel are training junior officers in the Afghan National Army at an academy that is situated outside of Kabul and led by the United Kingdom.

"Nato Ministers have made a decision to sustain the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan beyond 2016," Mr Brownlee said.

"This decision will allow New Zealand to stand alongside our partners in supporting stability in Afghanistan and countering the threat of international terrorism."

Foreign Minister Murray McCully has also announced a further $2.8 million in funding for the Afghan National Police and Central Prison Department.

The latest funding will be delivered through the United Nations Development Programme. It takes New Zealand's total commitment to Afghan security forces to $11.3 million.

- NZ Herald

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