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Defence Force's work in Afghanistan on show at Pataka

While out on patrol with the Kiwi 1 team Flight Lieutenant Trish Smith of the RNZAF talks to young women students at Nayak Girls School.
While out on patrol Flight Lieutenant Trish Smith enjoys a rare opportunity to chat with young women students at Nayak Girls School (WN09-0101-699)

19 February 2010

The work of the New Zealand Defence Force’s  Provincial Reconstruction Team (NZPRT) is showcased in an exhibition currently on display at Pataka Porirua Museum of Arts and Cultures.

'Bamyan in the heart of Afghanistan' celebrates the Friendly City relationship between Bamyan and Porirua City. The exhibition explores the history and culture of this strife ridden region through local crafts, stories and photographic images.

A number of photographs taken by RNZAF photographer Sergeant Chris Weissenborn, who was in Afghanistan in late 2009, are part of the exhibition.

The NZPRT comprises NZDF, NZ Police, United States (US) Armed Forces representatives and a USAID representative. Of these 129 are NZDF personnel, made up of Navy, Army and Air Force personnel, who stay in-theatre for six months.

Since arriving in Bamyan in 2003 the NZPRT has maintained security in Bamyan Province. It does this by conducting frequent presence patrols throughout the province.

The NZPRT supports the provincial and local government by providing advice and assistance to the Provincial Governor, the Afghan National Police and district sub-governors. It also identifies, prepares and provides project management for NZAID projects within the region. These are contracted to Afghan companies who hire local workers to help complete these projects. Each project provides new amenities, and also provides employment in the region.

Some of the projects instigated by the NZPRT include the construction of police stations and local government facilities, schools, a number of wells, and new roads and bridges.

The NZPRT have provided a reassuring security presence, especially during the Presidential elections in 2009, resulting in a particularly high voter turnout in Bamyan, particularly of women.

ENDS

Editor's note: On Sunday 14 March at 2pm, as part of Pataka's public awareness programme, three members of the NZDF will talk about their roles, experiences and impressions of being posted in Afghanistan.

For further information please contact Ally Clelland, Defence Communications Group, phone 021 569 130.

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