National | New Zealand Defence Force

Defence Force staff deployed on Ukraine business to UK, EU

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed that New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) staff will be deployed to Europe as the war in Ukraine rages on.

Nine NZDF personnel will be sent immediately to the UK and Belgium, "to support our partners, intelligence and engagement work for the next three months".

Seven NZDF intelligence analysts will be sent to the UK. "Some of our people will directly support intelligence work on the Ukraine war, and some will join existing teams focused on other parts of the world to free up capability within the UK teams."

The remaining two of the nine officers being deployed will go to the UK and Belgium to enhance engagement with and understanding of partner activities related to Ukraine. One will work with the defence attache to Nato while the other will work at the UK Defence headquarters.

The use of the Defence Force's open-source intelligence capacity for three months has also been approved by the cabinet, to support the UK and other European countries.

"Taking advantage of the time zone difference will help with key tasks during their night time and our day time."

In the next days and months, Ardern says, the government will announce new sanctions on Russia.

Ardern also expressed sympathies over the death of cabinet minister Willie Jackson's mother, Kahurangi Temuranga Batley-Jackson, as she began her press conference.