The remains of New Zealand servicemen who served in South East Asia between 1955 and 1971 have finally returned home.
The caskets of 27 soldiers and a servicemen's baby son arrived at Auckland Airport this morning on a chartered Air New Zealand flight from Kuala Lumpur.
The men died in combat, from illness or accidents while serving with the New Zealand Defence Force in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.
Each casket was unloaded from the chartered Air New Zealand jet by six army pallbearers.
The caskets were lined up, accompanied by a Defence Force guard of honour and followed by a Māori blessing and powhiri.
They were then carried into a large hanger for a private service with families.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern led a team of dignitaries along with about 200 family members.
Ms Ardern said it was an incredibly moving ceremony to be part of.
"I met some of the family members today who have long advocated for this day, so [it's] doubly emotional for them that it has been such a long time, a long struggle. Also, of course, the grief of finally having their family members home," she said.
After the service, each casket left the airport in individual hearses as Defence Force personnel performed a haka.