The Straits Times
Published on Oct 26, 2012

New Zealand to resettle Afghan interpreters with Kiwi troops' exit


WELLINGTON (AFP) - New Zealand will offer residency to 23 Afghan interpreters and their families who fear retribution from the Taleban when Kiwi troops leave Bamiyan province next year, officials said on Friday.

New Zealand Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman said the interpreters had played a critical role during New Zealand's decade-long deployment in Afghanistan and the country felt obliged to look after them.

"Offering assistance to current interpreters employed by the government reflects the view that New Zealand should demonstrate a duty of care to this group," he said.

Mr Coleman said 23 interpreters and 50 dependents were eligible to move to the nation. Those who chose not to take up the offer would be given three years of pay to help them relocate from central Bamiyan province to elsewhere in Afghanistan, he said.