Afghans who helped New Zealand troops have desperate immigration plea for Government as Taliban advance

Dozens of Afghan interpreters and their families have put their faith in the New Zealand Government to help them out of an apparently hopeless situation.

Cabinet is set to meet on Monday to review desperate immigration cases of former interpreters and other civilians who helped the New Zealand war effort in Afghanistan.

The group of 38 Newshub spoke to is holed up - with the Taliban bearing down on them in Bamyan Province, not far from the base the Kiwis pulled out of just a few months ago.

"He says - 'my name is Abdul Aziz, this is a crisis'," one says through interpreter Basir Ahmad.

"He says the Taliban has surrounded us and he says if you don't help us they will kill our family and our kids."

This is no hyperbole or exaggeration - it is literally a matter of life and death.

When Newshub spoke to the group last night, they told us the Taliban were just a few kilometres away and they were going to climb a mountain to avoid them.

The Taliban have taken back control of great swathes of Afghanistan, spreading their specific brand of terror.

Ali Reza worked as a carpenter for the New Zealand Defence Force for 12 years. He's one of 38 former employees and their families huddled together in Bamyan Province begging for help. 

"If the Taliban find me then 100 percent they will kill me," he says.

Basir Ahmad was an interpreter whose work included going on dangerous patrol missions with frontline Kiwi troops.

"The situation right now is everyone is running, and we were told tonight that Bamyan will be surrendered to the Taliban," he says.

Earlier this year, after 20 years, the Defence Force ended its involvement in Afghanistan. In total it cost 10 Kiwi lives and $300 million.

So far 140 former Afghan employees and their families have been resettled here.

But many others have had immigration applications declined - including Basir Ahmad just last year. He says he's now directly in the Taliban's crosshairs.

"Everyone knows exactly what we did, what was our job," he says.

"What I can say is we have already been identified - I think their people have identified us previously. They are just waiting for the regime to change - and I think the first thing they will do is retaliate against us."

Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi says the Government is now reviewing resettling others saying: "I have asked officials for advice on what could be done, how many people might be eligible and how the NZDF might ascertain who would be eligible."

"I'm trying if I can to separate the two matters of what is happening in Afghanistan at the moment and of course those looking to finding refuge if you like here in New Zealand," adds Minister of Defence Peeni Henare.

But our Government has to move quickly. In just a few short weeks the Taliban has retaken control of much of the country and the capital Kabul is now all but surrounded.

It began the second the United States announced a date for its troop departure, effectively the diarising of defeat.

And as the Afghani government forces retreat they leave behind the spoils of war. The Taliban now driving American military vehicles.

"Tonight I don't know what will happen to us," Ahmad says.

Since speaking to the group last night, Newshub hasn't been able to get back in touch - we don't even know if they're still alive.

A sign of just how quickly our Government has to move if it wants to help save the lives of those that helped our troops survive in their war-torn country.