PM, Abbott discuss potential IS fight

  • 02/11/2014

Prime Minister John Key has again hinted that New Zealand will join the fight against Islamic State militants in the Middle East, saying we have always fought side-by-side with Australia.

The comments came as Mr Key attended a ceremony in Western Australia to mark 100 years since the formation of the Anzacs.

A symbolic procession of New Zealand and Australian war ships closed a week of World War I commemorations. It marked 100 years to the day that dozens of troop ships left from Albany.

Around 8500 New Zealanders were on board. To this day it's still the single largest troop movement in New Zealand history.

"I think they would've been really excited, a big adventure," says retired captain Neil Henry. "We all know that's not how it ended up, but as young soldiers they would've left with the best of intentions and thought they'd be home by Christmas."

Kiwi veterans who marched earlier in the day say it's humbling walking in the footsteps of those who went before them into battle.

"It commemorates all the sacrifices our forebears made all those years ago," says retired Lieutenant Colonel Ian Healy.

Around 60,000 people lined the streets to watch the march, which included the New Zealand Army, Navy and Air Force.

"Firstly, there's a sense of pride, that New Zealand came to the call when required, I think as we always have," says Prime Minister John Key. "We're a really proud nation."

The Prime Minister met with his counterpart to discuss New Zealand's next potential fight against the Islamic State.

"I think everyone understands we're going through the process of gathering information and looking at what sort of contribution we might make if we were to, and where we'd be most beneficial," says Mr Key.

He wouldn't be drawn on if troops would be sent into Syria or Iraq, but said traditionally Australia and New Zealand have always fought side-by-side and he'd be making an announcement on Wednesday.

In the meantime he did say that Australia and New Zealand have always fought side-by-side and Australia has committed troops to fight IS in Iraq.

But there were poignant reminders of the cost of war – like the poppies set out today. One-hundred years on and the Anzac spirit is clearly still flourishing. The bond between the two countries has never been stronger, and if today's turnout is anything to go by then it will continue for the next 100 too.

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source: newshub archive