New Zealand soldiers vote from Iraq

  • 19/09/2017
The voting took place at the Taji Military Complex near Baghdad.
The voting took place at the Taji Military Complex near Baghdad. Photo credit: Getty

New Zealand soldiers in Iraq have made their choice over who should lead their country for the next three years.

More than 100 New Zealand Defence Force staff took the opportunity to cast an early vote for next Saturday's general election.

They did it at the Taji Military Complex north of Baghdad, where an office doubled as a polling station last weekend.

The voting papers were flown to Taji on Friday after arriving in Baghdad earlier in the week.

The NZ Army captain appointed as the electoral officer says the voting experience wasn't too different from that at home.

Another officer says she and most of her colleagues have been keeping up with election issues through news apps on their mobile phones.

"There have been a few robust discussions over dinner as well," she said.

The completed ballots will be returned to New Zealand this week.

Since May 2015, the NZDF has deployed soldiers to support the international effort to combat Islamic State by helping to train the Iraqi security forces.

In all, there are about 300 Defence Force personnel serving overseas, around 230 of them based in the Middle East.