Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee has just paid a secret trip to Camp Taji near Baghdad, Iraq, to visit New Zealand Defence Force personnel stationed there to train Iraqi soldiers to fight Islamic State.

"Our soldiers are in very high spirits," he said in a statement released after he left Iraq.

"Early indications are Iraqi trainees are responding and relating well to our trainers."

New Zealand has deployed 143 Defence Force personnel to run a joint training programme of Iraqi forces with the Australian Defence Force.


Mr Brownlee also met Iraq Defence Minister Khaled al-Obedi in Baghdad and said the Iraqi Government and Commanders recognised New Zealand's contribution.

But during Mr Brownlee's visit, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi was at a conference in Paris lamenting the lack of support in the wake of several Isis victories.

"This is a failure on the part of the world," he told journalists there. "There is a lot of talk of support for Iraq. There is very little on the ground."