New Zealand citizens to arrive from Afghanistan on Monday afternoon

New Zealand citizens to arrive from Afghanistan on Monday afternoon
Photo credit: Getty Images

The first group of New Zealand citizens, families and other visa holders evacuated from Afghanistan will arrive in the country on Monday afternoon, Defence Minister Peeni Henare says.

It comes after Australia ran four flights into Afghan capital Kabul at the weekend - evacuating more than 300 people including New Zealanders.

"By working alongside our partners, particularly Australia and the United Arab Emirates to whom we are very grateful, we're able to bring these New Zealanders safely home," Henare said in a statement on Monday. 

"Their long journey to safety is nearly over and I can only imagine the relief and joy they feel at being reunited with loved ones here in Aotearoa, once they have completed managed isolation and quarantine."

The New Zealand government had been helping more than 200 people in Kabul to evacuate them out of Afghanistan.

Earlier this month, about 8000 people were flown from Afghanistan on flights organised by the US, UK and EU countries.

Henare said evacuation efforts were taking place in "dangerous and perilous" conditions.

"Our ability to assist individuals on the ground and at the airport in Kabul is limited but has been helped by the presence of our New Zealand Defence Force personnel working alongside our partners. Access to Kabul airport is extremely difficult and travel into Kabul from the provinces is almost impossible.

"The New Zealand Government would also like to thank the US for helping to secure an entry for New Zealanders at Kabul airport, and Air New Zealand for its support in assisting to bring New Zealanders home from Australia."