Passions over the announced deployment of a New Zealand training mission to Iraq spilled over in Parliament again yesterday, with the Government saying it was a good demonstration of the values New Zealand children should be learning, and the Opposition accusing the Government of being selective in the atrocities it responded to.
New Zealand First MP Ron Mark also challenged the Government to say what its plan would be if a New Zealand soldier was captured by Isis (Islamic State) and was threatened with beheading.
The Government announced on Tuesday that a non-combat training mission of 143 would be deployed to Iraq for two years, most of them stationed at Camp Taji north of Baghdad and the rest in support around the region.
Prime Minister John Key challenged Labour on Tuesday to "get some guts and join the right side", after saying he was not going to stand by and watch as Isis burned pilots alive and used children to execute prisoners.
He said New Zealand was known for standing up for what was right. Doing nothing would make Isis stronger and that would increase the threat against New Zealanders.
Education Minister Hekia Parata said in a fiery speech she was raised on the history of war heroes and turning out for Anzac Day and the point of having a defence force was to carry out such deployments.
She said the country could not evoke the emotion of turning up to Anzac Days but then turn away when the practical reality of what that meant presented itself.
Mr Key had demonstrated "courage and wisdom and the great belief in who we are".
"As minister of education I consider that critical for young New Zealanders because we have a curriculum that says to them, 'These are the values of who we are, we play our part.'
"We want them to be travellers; we want them to be explorers; we want them to be mindful of risk; we want them to be relationship developers; we want them to be communicators and we shouldn't turn away as a nation when that responsibility looks us in the face and says, 'Will you stand alongside the allies?' In times of both war and trade we look to those relationships.
"This Government will not turn away from those responsibilities and it is not only important that we confront them in a timely fashion but that we demonstrate to young New Zealanders that that's part of who we are. We are descended from people who play their part, who took the risk, who are prepared to do what is necessary."
Mr Mark appeared to suggest Mr Key may have been better to deploy the SAS in a combat role "to help take out high-value [Isis] targets without having to expose our infantry trainers to the unnecessary and inherent risks that lie in training Iraqi soldiers".
Greens co-leader Metiria Turei challenged Mr Key to stop trade negotiations with Saudi Arabia or Indonesia, countries she claimed had tortured and killed children - considering he claimed the suffering of children as a justification for going to war.
She also questioned why - if using children to execute soldiers was a reason to go to war - New Zealand had not gone to war in Nigeria where Boko Haram recently used a 7-year-old girl as a suicide bomber.
Mr Key said the Government was outraged by Boko Haram.
up to 143 troops are being deployed
years will be the maximum length of time of the mission
at least, will be the cost