Defence Minister Wayne Mapp says an SAS attack on insurgents in Afghanistan was not a revenge mission over the death of a New Zealand soldier last year.
Dr Mapp has confirmed an operation took place on 22 August last year in an area where Bamyan province borders Baghlan province, just over a fortnight after the death of Lieutenant Tim O'Donnell from a roadside bomb explosion.
Lieutenant O'Donnell was the first New Zealand soldier to die in combat in Afghanistan.
SAS troops were involved in the subsequent attack on the group of insurgents - killing nine Taliban fighters.
Dr Mapp says the joint mission took place involving New Zealand Special Operations Forces, Afghan National Security Forces and other coalition elements.
However he said it was not a revenge mission, but was carried out to protect the provincial reconstruction team and improve security for local people.
The minister said it would have been irresponsible not to act, given intelligence information had indicated operations against New Zealand soldiers were likely.