Former Defence Minister Wayne Mapp backs Government's move to dispatch 50 troops to Europe

Former Defence Minister Wayne Mapp backs the Government's move to dispatch 50 troops to Europe to help with the logistics of moving weapons into Ukraine. 

Mapp told Newshub that given New Zealand's distance from the war the move to help with logistics makes sense. 

"It does make sense for us to take more of a logistics role and from what I can see we will be consolidating arms shipments into Poland and then they'll be transferred across the border."

New Zealand troops won't be going across the border into Ukraine, but Mapp said the work Kiwi troops will be doing is a critical task. 

"Getting all the equipment sorted and consolidated on the border of Ukraine and Poland so then the Ukrainians can use it effectively, so that's a good job.

"And I have to say the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence have done a pretty good job in sorting this all out and making sure New Zealand is playing an effective part."

Mapp told Newshub Ukraine wouldn't be doing as well as they are if New Zealand wasn't providing intelligence operators giving up to date battlefield and strategic intelligence. 

"I know from direct experience how good our intelligence operators are."

Mapp said Ukrainians have better intelligence of what is happening on the ground than the Russians do. 

"The western intelligence system particularly around satellites, signals interception and all that is really world-class and NATO has got far more capability around this area than Russia has.

"I think for the Ukrainians, who after all have to actually carry the fight - but they wouldn't have been effective but for the fact of the NATO assistance and of course New Zealand's assistance," Mapp added. 

Mapp said New Zealand's move to assist with logistics signals New Zealand is more than just with the West.

"We are effectively a Western nation, we're a part of the broader Western alliance, it's noteworthy isn't it that the people who are providing direct assistance as opposed to votes in the UN are fundamentally the Western alliance nations." 

He told Newshub he's concluded Ukraine will win the war. 

"I've come to the view that Ukraine will actually win this war, at least they'll fight the Russians to a standstill."

New Zealand will also donate an additional $13 million to support the United Kingdom in procuring equipment for the Ukrainian military as it fights off Russia's invasion that began in February.

Watch the full interview above.