Assistance to Ukraine extended and enhanced

  • Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern
  • Hon Nanaia Mahuta
  • Hon Peeni Henare

New Zealand is extending its defence commitments and providing further support and personnel to assist Ukraine, as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion.

The NZ Defence Force infantry training for Ukrainian military personnel in the United Kingdom will be extended. There is more funding for equipment and supplies for Ukraine’s self-defence; and to support global food security in the face of the conflict.

“The extended support builds on the package of military, diplomatic, legal and humanitarian assistance provided by Aotearoa New Zealand since Russia’s war of aggression began in February,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“Putin’s continued pursuit of this war is fundamentally wrong. We call on Russia to reverse course and withdraw from Ukraine. Ukrainians, both in uniform and civilians, die every day as Russia’s senseless attacks continue.

“Support from distant countries is deeply appreciated by Ukraine. Principles matter and Aotearoa New Zealand is committed to uphold the rules of international law and the United Nations Charter,” said Jacinda Ardern.

“The effects of the crisis in Ukraine have been felt globally,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “Russia’s invasion has severely disrupted critical supply chains and exacerbated food insecurity worldwide.”

“New Zealand remains committed to working with partners to respond to the food insecurity crisis. We will contribute $1.85 million to the World Food Programme for emergency assistance across the globe. This builds on earlier food security support to other countries in early 2022,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

The decisions made today:

  • Training: Extend New Zealand’s support to the United Kingdom armed forces-led operation to train Ukrainian personnel, with the deployment of one infantry training team numbering up to 66 NZDF personnel from 30 November 2022 to 31 July 2023. At present the NZDF has two infantry training teams totalling 120 personnel training Ukrainian personnel in the UK.
  • Intelligence: Extend the NZDF’s existing intelligence contribution of up to 12 personnel in the UK, as well as New Zealand-based open source intelligence staff, from 30 November 2022 to 30 June 2023. In addition the NZDF will provide two additional support positions to the UK for the same period.
  • Command and administration support: The deployment of up to eight NZDF personnel to Europe from 30 November 2022 to 31 July 2023 to assist deployed NZDF personnel throughout Europe supporting Ukraine’s self-defence efforts.
  • Logistics: Recommence the deployment of four personnel from 30 November 2022 to 30 June 2023 to a logistics hub in Europe to support Ukraine.
  • Liaison: Extend the NZDF’s existing liaison officer contributions in the UK and Europe from 30 November 2022 to 30 June 2023.
  • Global food security support: $1.85 million to the World Food Programme to help address global food insecurity, which has been exacerbated by the crisis in Ukraine.
  • NATO Trust Fund: Additional $1.85 million contribution for non-lethal military equipment and supplies for Ukraine’s self-defence during the northern winter.

“We are pledging further support to the NATO Trust Fund. This will provide non-lethal military support like winter clothing, food rations, mobile generators, ambulances, medical and first aid kits, shelters, and other vital supplies over the coming northern winter,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

“I am pleased the NZDF infantry can offer the skills and experience for further training. This deployment also provides an opportunity for NZDF personnel to gain valuable experience,” said Peeni Henare.

“The infantry training demonstrates the core skills and capabilities of our defence personnel. Utilising them in an offshore location, alongside key partners, helps encourage retention of frontline personnel. However I want to be clear that the NZDF will not be entering Ukraine.

“I have been informed that the Ukrainian recruits have responded well to our training personnel, and have said that the NZDF personnel are working hard for them.

“While the New Zealand military contribution to our bigger partners and Ukraine is small compared to what others are doing, we are contributing in a targeted way and I am confident that our contributions are having a continued impact,” says Peeni Henare.

More information about sanctions, travel bans, and export controls against Russia; as well as diplomatic, military and economic support to Ukraine can be found on the MFAT site here.

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