The first group of evacuees from Afghanistan are due to leave managed isolation this week to begin their new lives in New Zealand.
One of those lucky enough to make it out has told Newshub he was beaten by the Taliban as they tried to scare people from fleeing.
There were scenes of chaos outside Kabul Airport as thousands of people scrambled to get past the Taliban and onto an evacuation flight.
One man who was evacuated, who has asked to remain anonymous to protect his family in Afghanistan, says the Taliban were hitting people trying to leave.
"I got hit three times right on my back very hard," he says.
"The pain from that had lingered for days. Taliban, they are wild with no control and are vicious. Human lives to them have no meaning to them. They would hit you with anything, with knives, blades or anything they are holding onto."
Getting out of Kabul, even with the right paperwork, was a game of chance. Kiwis and visa holders did anything they could to catch the attention of our soldiers.
"I had printed the New Zealand flag on an A4 piece of paper and held it up high with the New Zealand passport of the family members," he says.
The New Zealand Defence Force pulled out nearly 400 people. Once inside the airport they were each given a blue wristband - their ticket to freedom.
"As I boarded the plane, the last thing I saw and remember is looking around and seeing all the besieged people surrounding the airport and seeking refuge and seeing the Taliban guards and then the other country's soldiers," the man says.
The flights were shared with the Australian Defence Force, and most of those on board had nothing more than a bag of clothes.
"When I got onto the plane it hit me that I am going. I haven't said my goodbyes to anyone," the man says.
"Right now, my parents don't know about my whereabouts and likewise of theirs."
He knows his family fled from their home in Helmand province when the Taliban invaded, but he doesn't know where they are now.
"My heart and soul is in Afghanistan."