There would be a good deal of disagreement amongst New Zealanders about the merits of whether our troops should be Afghanistan, fighting what I believe is an unwinnable war. We just don’t learn from history and keep making the same mistakes and for those who think we could ever win---read your history books!
Having said that, I feel deeply for the children and women of Afghanistan as they face the prospect of the return of the Taliban, an evil, medieval throwback. That they use religion as justification for their actions makes a mockery of the religion they purport to hold so close to their bloodless hearts. The Muslim world needs to play a far bigger role in the fight to find peace in Afghanistan; perhaps a contraction in terms.
There is another group in Afghanistan who has worked tirelessly beside NZ troops. They are the translators who have risked the lives of themselves and their families by being so closely involved with our troops.
Tonight we have heard that 26 translators and hopefully their families will be allowed to come to New Zealand. They have earned their place and I applaud the decision of the Government in making this move. Come and enjoy the peace that your own country has been unable to provide. From what I have seen of your fellow Afghanis who have chosen to come here, you will do well and contribute to NZ society. That you could not find those opportunities in your own country is sad. Welcome to your new home.