Kiwi troops are leaving for Iraq today to begin a two-year deployment working alongside Australian forces.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said yesterday 330 troops would begin leaving for Iraq along with about 100 New Zealand troops.
Political editor Barry Soper told Newstalk ZB today the New Zealand Government had always maintained it would not talk about troop deployment because it would breach security.
In a statement yesterday it said troops would be in Iraq at the end of May, he said.
"The deployment is staggered, so it begins today along with the Australians, and it will be staggered over several weeks, and by the end of May all 140 troops from New Zealand will be on the ground in Iraq," he said.
"Our troop deployment does begin today along with the Australian."
Mr Soper said it was likely that the two-year timeline would be "renegotiated" as the deadline for pulling out approached.
"Whenever troops are sent abroad they're often gone for much longer than the government intended them to be."
In announcing the deployment in February, Prime Minister John Key said the New Zealanders would work "behind the wire" in a training capacity with Iraqi Security Forces.
He said troops were likely to arrive in the Taji military complex north of Baghdad in May, and the deployment would be reviewed after nine months.
Chief of Defence Force Tim Keating said in February that the troops would be working alongside the Australian Defence Force, providing training to Iraqi security forces in combat skills needed to roll back the Islamic State threat.
The deployment at Taji would include 106 personnel, with a further 37 at other locations in the Middle East.