Election 2014

6 Nov 2011

Key says quick decision needed post-election on SAS deployment

9:53 am on 6 November 2011

National Party leader John Key says if his party is re-elected it will have to make a very quick decision about the future of New Zealand SAS troops in Afghanistan.

Mr Key says the Special Air Service has been in Afghanistan for two-and-half-years and his intention is still for the team to return to New Zealand at the end of March next year.

However, he says a final decision on that would be made soon after the election on 26 November, as it needs to be confirmed with NATO headquarters in Afghanistan.

Mr Key says he does not think it is likely that the SAS would remain there because the international community is working towards a date of 2014 for having foreign forces withdrawn.