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Police Commissioner welcomes Afghan interpreters

Police Commissioner welcomes Afghan interpreters

Commissioner Peter Marshall today welcomed to New Zealand the four Afghan interpreters who assisted Police staff involved in the New Zealand-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamyan.

The four language assistants who worked alongside New Zealand Police are part of a larger group that have elected to come to New Zealand following the Government's offer of resettlement made last year.

They were greeted by Mr Marshall today at Whenuapai, along with 11 of their family members.

"We have been extremely well served by these professionals who were so vital to the success of the New Zealand Police contingent in Bamyan," said Mr Marshall.

"I had the privilege of meeting many of the language assistants during my recent visit to Bamyan as part of the official delegation marking the conclusion of New Zealand support for the Provincial Reconstruction Team.

"During the Bamyan deployment excellent working relationships were formed between police staff and the interpreters and our staff are keen to renew old acquaintances.

"I'm also heartened by numerous offers of help for the Afghan families from our staff to help them settle in to New Zealand," said Mr Marshall.

The New Zealand Police mission to Bamyan worked to strengthen the capacity of the Afghan National Police in areas such as training, management and leadership.

The interpreters and their families will initially be taken through the Mangere Refugee Resettlement centre, before settling in Hamilton and Palmerston North.

Police deployed 16 contingents to Afghanistan, where they were co-located with the New Zealand Defence Force in the PRT. In total 53 police staff were deployed.

The Police deployment formally ended in December 2012 when the last contingent returned to New Zealand.

ENDS

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