4 Apr 2012

Prime minister says dead soldier's care to be investigated

4:58 pm on 4 April 2012

Prime Minister John Key says the level of pastoral care for a New Zealand soldier who died while off-duty in Afghanistan on Tuesday will be looked into.

Corporal Douglas Hughes, 26, sustained an injury at Forward Patrol Base Romero in north-eastern Bamiyan province.

Lieutenant General Rhys Jones says Corporal Hughes sustained injuries while off-duty and was flown to Bagram Air Base where he died. He was not alone when the incident happened.

Mr Key wants to make sure the soldier was being well supported.

He had been serving with the Provincial Reconstruction Team and was near the end of his six month deployment.

The defence force is not revealing the nature of his injuries, except to say they were not combat-related.

The death of Corporal Hughes brings to five the number of New Zealand defence force members, who have lost their lives in Afghanistan since 2003.