4 Nov 2013

Afghan interpreter says he will be in NZ soon

4:33 pm on 4 November 2013

An Afghan interpreter who has been waiting for a year to be resettled in New Zealand says he will be flown here very soon.

The interpreter, known as AJ, was injured in a 2010 attack on a New Zealand convoy in Bamiyan Province in which Lieutenant Tim O'Donnell was killed.

AJ later fled to Germany for medical treatment.

After Radio New Zealand raised his case last December the Government said he was entitled to the resettlement package offered to other Provincial Reconstruction Team interpreters.

Labour defence spokesperson Phil Goff says AJ put his life on the line for New Zealand and the way the Government has treated him has left a lot to be desired.

"You would have thought that in those circumstances the defence minister would have bent over backwards to try to make things as good as he could to ensure that AJ received some certainty about his life and his future.

"Rather than spending well over a year waiting and not being given the certainty of knowing whether he had a safe home in New Zealand."

Radio New Zealand has spoken to AJ who says he is concerned by the lack of empathy the Government has shown him, in particular by not offering him counselling.