New Zealand First claims Afghanistan aid will go to Taliban


New Zealand First has questioned New Zealand's involvement in Afghanistan, saying corruption is widespread and that our troops should not be there.

Deputy Leader Ron Mark is calling on the Government to confirm money going to Afghan Security Forces won't end up in the hands of the Taliban.

Just over $11 million is being sent from New Zealand to fund Afghan Security Forces.

However University of Auckland Associate Professor Stephen Hoadley has rubbished the suggestion that the Taliban will get New Zealand aid money, and says international aid is vital for Afghans.

"This is a small investment but I think it's an investment well worth making, because at the end of the day what are the alternatives? Walk away? Abandon the Kabul government to its fate?"

Ron Mark also believes it's time New Zealand withdrew their forces from Afghanistan.

But Prof Hoadley says without international help, the Afghan democracy would quickly collapse.

"The Taliban would try or summarily execute large numbers of government civil servants that have served the Kabul government just as the Islamic State has done when they take over areas in Iraq and Syria," he says.

He says the New Zealand Defence Force is well aware of the level of corruption in Afghanistan.

"It’s not that the US is walking blindly into this, and therefore New Zealand working with the US forces, but rather that we're talking about a country with a deeply ingrained history of corruption."