The New Zealand army officer who took over leading ground troops in Afghanistan just weeks after Operation Burnham has told an inquiry he had a "miscommunication" with an American which led him to believe no civilians had died.
His email relaying this as fact snowballed into a false narrative used by the Defence Force, ministers and the then-prime minister, to respond to questions about the 2010 joint forces operation in Afghanistan that involved the New Zealand's SAS.
That included the initial response to the Hit and Run book released in 2017.
Brigadier Christopher Parsons admitted the email was sent too early and without enough thought, under intense questioning at the Operation Burnham inquiry today.
He believed the man he spoke to was American, but he could not remember his name or rank.