5 Oct 2009

SAS review 'victory for common sense' - Greens

8:26 pm on 5 October 2009

The Green Party says the Government's decision to review its policy of not disclosing the location of SAS troops is a victory for common sense.

A fortnight ago Norwegian defence chief Sverre Diesen told a newspaper that New Zealand's SAS troops would be taking over from Norwegian special forces in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul.

The New Zealand Government has a policy of not disclosing where SAS troops are serving.

In the light of the Norwegian disclosure, Prime Minister John Key has agreed to review the policy with defence personnel.

Green MP Keith Locke says that changing the policy would bring New Zealand into line with other countries like Norway and Australia, and that only operational matters, such as the details of military operations, should be kept secret.

Mr Key says his government simply adopted that policy, but he admits it is ridiculous if other countries are prepared to reveal the location of New Zealand troops.

New Zealand recently sent 71 members of the SAS to Afghanistan. It is the SAS's fourth deployment there.