Air New Zealand carried troops to Iraq

This is the big story in NZ at the moment:
(New Zealand) Defence Minister Phil Goff has confirmed Air New Zealand carried troops to Iraq.

He expressed his anger at the move saying it was not appropriate for the flag-carrying national airline to be used to cart troops to a war New Zealand did not approve of.

Mr Goff said he understood Air NZ had operated two charter flights carrying troops from Australia to Iraq in Kuwait.

Investigate magazine broke the story, saying Air New Zealand had been flying United States and Australian combat troops across the Pacific to the Iraqi border.

Air New Zealand said it was a commercial operation but as a courtesy had told government officials about the flights, the magazine said.

But Mr Goff told reporters that while Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials had been told, they had not passed this on to the Government.
New Zealand, to their great credit, opposed the invasion of Iraq. For Air NZ to have carried Iraq-bound troops is unfortunate. Moreover, while I'm happy for Australian troops to be transported off to war on high quality New Zealand planes, I find it strange that Aussie ones couldn't be found to do it.

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