NZ providing extra deployment to support Ukraine

Minister of Defence Peeni Henare says he is pleased New Zealand can offer the skills and experience of the Defence Force to help train members of Ukraine's Armed Forces. Photo: Beehive.

As part of New Zealand’s ongoing response to the war in Ukraine, New Zealand is providing further support and personnel to assist Ukraine to defend itself against Russia’s unprovoked and illegal invasion, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced today.

“We have been clear throughout Russia’s assault on Ukraine, that such a blatant attack on innocent lives and the sovereignty of another country is wrong, and our response has not only included the condemnation of Russia, but practical support for Ukraine,” says Ardern.

“A New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) artillery training team of up to 30 personnel will be deployed to the United Kingdom to help train Ukrainian military personnel in operating L119 105mm light field guns.

“Our training team has been requested to help train members of Ukraine’s Armed Forces in the use of the weapon system until the end of July," says Ardern.

“This new support comes in addition to the extensive assistance we have already provided to Ukraine, which encompasses the military, humanitarian, legal, and other aspects of the conflict.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and will work in tandem with our partners to ensure that we continue to make a meaningful and effective contribution,” says Ardern.

Minister of Defence Peeni Henare, says he was pleased New Zealand could offer the skills and experience of the Defence Force through this training, and was clear NZDF personnel would not be entering Ukraine.

“The Government is acting on a call for help with training, which will enable members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to operate L119 light field guns as they continue to defend their country against attacks by Russian forces," says Henare.

“We are also providing approximately 40 gun sights to Ukraine, along with a small quantity of ammunition for training purposes.

“An advance party will deploy this week with the remainder of the artillery training team deploying as soon as practicable. The training for the Ukrainian Armed Forces is expected to begin next month,” says Henare.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Nanaia Mahuta says New Zealand has condemned and continues to condemn, unequivocally, Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine.

“We continue to work closely with a range of international partners in supporting Ukraine, including providing military support such as this, humanitarian assistance and supporting efforts to ensure accountability for human rights violations,” says Mahuta.

The Government previously approved the deployment of a Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130H Hercules aircraft and NZDF personnel to the United Kingdom and Europe to provide intelligence, liaison, transportation and logistics support to the international community’s efforts to support Ukraine’s self-defence.

The NZDF’s New Zealand-based open-source intelligence capability has also been utilised, and military equipment has been donated to Ukraine.

New Zealand has also donated approximately $15.7 million to purchase military equipment for Ukraine, and commercial satellite access for Ukrainian Defence Intelligence, and has rolled out sanctions targeting those associated with Russia’s invasion.

To date the Government has announced the following actions in response to the war in Ukraine:

  • Banned exports to Russian military and security forces. 
  • Suspended diplomatic consultations with Russia.
  • Passed the historic Russia Sanctions Act and Regulations under which we have:
  • Passed sanctions targeting:

o   Vladimir Putin and his senior leadership on his Security Council.

o   Over 500 members of the Russian parliament (State Duma and Federation Council).

o   28 entities including weapons makers, Donbas militia groups etc.

o   36 oligarchs and close family with close ties and influence with the Russian Government.

o   19 financial institutions in total.

o   8 individuals and entities involved in disinformation and cyber-attacks on Ukraine.

o   23 Belarusian leaders, including President Lukashenko.

  • Banned all Russian Government aircraft and vessels from New Zealand waters.
  • Announced a 35% tariff on all imports of Russian origin to New Zealand with effect from 25 April.
  • Extended the export ban to include industrial products of strategic importance.
  • Extended the application of specific sanctions to the ‘immediate family members’ of designated individuals; and associates of designated individuals and entities.
  • Extended the full suite of prohibitions to over 400 people who were captured by previously implemented travel bans
  • Provided direct support for Ukraine’s self-defence:

o   $5m of non-lethal military assistance to support Ukraine via the NATO Trust Fund and communications equipment procured from TAIT.

o   Surplus NZDF equipment also sent to Ukraine. 1066 x Body Armour Plates, 473 x Helmets, 571 x Camouflage Vests/Harness Webbing.

o   Deployment of 47 defence force personnel to the United Kingdom, Belgium and Germany, to support our partners in training, intelligence and engagement work, and logistical coordination.

o   Deployment of NZDF C-130 Hercules transport aircraft and 50 support personnel to Europe.

o   $7.5m to contribute to weapons and ammunition procurement by the United Kingdom.

o   $4.1m to support commercial satellite access for the Ukrainian Defence Intelligence.

  • Provided $8 million in humanitarian assistance to support both refugees and those still inside Ukraine.
  • Establishment of a special Ukraine visa for family members of Ukrainian New Zealanders plus other visa changes.

o   Immigration NZ had received 853 Expressions of Interest to apply, and of those it has invited 667 people to submit an application.

o   As a result, Immigration NZ has approved 652 of them so far.

  • Approved $815,000 to support international legal efforts to hold Russia accountable including $315,000 to support the International Criminal Court investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine.
  • Provided $1m to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.


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Posted on 24-05-2022 11:59 | By morepork

If the Government don’t think we can "afford" it, they wouldn’t do it. Of course, they think that anything which is politically expedient is "affordable" and they just print more money if it isn’t. You are right that we should not be offering Foreign Aid to ANYONE while our own economy is in such disarray, but the support for Ukraine is a highly sensitive issue and many votes would be lost if they didn’t do it. (I do support the Ukrainian position because it is impossible to support Russia if you have any kind of ethics or decency.)


Posted on 24-05-2022 11:42 | By Slim Shady

I bet the G20 had a conference call to see if anybody knew how to use these antiquated weapons. They all shrugged their shoulders until someone suggested New Zealand because they’re still using the same howitzers from Gallipoli. Reluctant to move on.


Posted on 24-05-2022 11:37 | By Slim Shady

Or we could have a flag referendum. It’s peanuts.


Posted on 24-05-2022 09:20 | By Yadick

Almost $30 million we could have payed down debt with and that’s not adding in the cost of deployments, so probably nearer the $100 million mark. Although I have nothing against humanitarian Aid if we can afford to.

Dad’s Army

Posted on 24-05-2022 06:25 | By Slim Shady

Ukraine have got their hands on some Howitzers so who better to train them than NZDF who are the World leaders with WW2 weaponry. Fix bayonets.

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