As one of our sons has done several tours in Afghanistan with the army I have thought much about New Zealand’s  involvement.

The loss of any New Zealand Defence Force personnel is a lamentable matter.  The deaths of five soldiers in Afghanistan recently casts a shadow over the work our Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) have done in that country since 2003.

Thanks to the work they and their fellow soldiers have performed in Bamyan, the province is more secure, meaning that hospitals can operate, children are being educated and projects in agriculture and energy can take place.

Our soldiers are building infrastructure, allowing international efforts to make the local population more secure and self-sufficient through aid programmes to succeed.

The cowardly attacks on people who insurgents know are there to help overshadows this fine work by our brave Defence Force personnel, who are making a tangible difference for the Afghan people.