Red Cross 'rolling the dice on people's lives' by naming kidnapped nurse Louisa Akavi

The row between New Zealand and the International Red Cross over the decision to name Louisa Akavi is getting seriously heated.

The Government believes naming her not only put Akavi's life at risk but also the lives of our special ops team in Iraq and Syria working to save her.

The decision to reveal details of Louisa Akavi's kidnapping by the Islamic State was earlier on Tuesday described by the Foreign Minister as a screw-up.

The International Red Cross says it had Government support, but Winston Peters says that's "balderdash".

"The message that's being carried is balderdash. That's a very polite way of describing how one person has, in my view, has dropped the ball so to speak - not the whole organisation," he said.

A senior source close to the Akavi case told Newshub the International Red Cross are "complete assholes". They said it's "absolutely disgraceful" that it named her and accused it of "rolling the dice on people's lives".

There's also a 12-person team including elite SAS soldiers that's been operating in Iraq and Syria to try save Akavi.

"Did naming her also put at risk the lives of New Zealand personnel in Iraq and Syria looking for Louisa Akavi? I can't answer that question, though you would know what my answer would be if I could answer," said Peters.

That's a yes. Over the last six weeks, the Government repeatedly warned against naming her. 

But Newshub understands neither the Foreign Minister nor the Prime Minister applied direct pressure on the International Red Cross.

Winston Peters says in the past, we got close to getting her back.

Newshub understands hopes of a Navy Seal rescue operation in late 2016, through to early 2017 were foiled. 

Louisa Akavi was believed to be at an Islamic State location but when IS got wind there was a separate, unrelated operation planned against them there, the terrorists fled - taking that remote chance of saving Akavi with them.