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Key is sending our troops into the 'snake pit' - Winston Peters

Prime Minister John Key has faced fierce opposition in Parliament after he announced the Government's decision to send troops to Iraq.

NZ First leader Winston Peters says the decision to send troops to Iraq is an "affront to our democracy". Source: 1 NEWS

In a fiery speech in Parliament this afternoon, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters asked Mr Key why he wouldn't let Parliament vote on sending the troops.

"If they are so right, as Mr Key concluded, that it's the right decision then why not trust the people's institution called Parliament?" he addressed Mr Key.

"Canada did, other countries in the 60 have, why not you?

"Or is he special when it comes to these decisions where we go to war not as a country but as a Government because that is a minority decision."

He says New Zealand troops are being sent into a "snake pit" and New Zealand will pay the price of belonging to the Five Eyes Club.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says Prime Minister John Key is "dragging us by the boot laces into another US led war".

He says the conflict against the Islamic State cannot be won by military intervention.

"We reject a war where New Zealand lives are needlessly put in danger without the mandate of the New Zealand public and Parliament," he says.

Labour leader Andrew Little also agrees that sending troops to Iraq isn't the right decision.

He says ISIS cannot be defeated through the Iraqi army.

A total of 143 non-combatant personnel will be sent to Taji Military Complex north of Baghdad in May. Mr Key says troops there will train Iraqi security forces for the fight against ISIS.