The photograph of a New Zealand soldier with children in the Solomon Islands highlights the peacekeeping role of many New Zealand defence force personnel around the world.

A member of the New Zealand peacekeeping forces showing photos to children.(external link)

A member of the New Zealand peacekeeping forces showing digital photos to children near Honiara, Solomon Islands. Photograph by New Zealand Defence Force, 2009. Flickr.


This picture was taken in Solomon Islands, where New Zealand peacekeepers were working alongside people from Australia, Tonga, and Papua New Guinea. These peacekeepers had been asked to come to Solomon Islands by its government, which was having trouble with its people fighting each other.

When the peacekeepers arrived, they initially helped by making arrests, destroying illegal weapons, and acting as police. When the violence settled down, the peacekeepers started working with the government to help build a secure, well-governed, and prosperous nation. Peacekeepers do this by helping to rebuild infrastructure, provide training for local police and armed forces and maintaining safe environments. Peacekeepers from other nations continue this work today.

New Zealanders play an important role in many peacemaking and peacekeeping operations around the world. We currently hold a seat on the United Nations Security Council, and our defence force is actively supporting different countries to maintain a safe and stable environment.

Key questions

  • What can we observe?
  • What do we already know?
  • How might people view this image in different ways?

Possible discussion questions

  • What sort of people are in this picture? Where are they? What are they doing? What might be on the camera?
  • How do you think the people in this picture are feeling? How do you think the kids might feel about the soldier?
  • What is some of the equipment that the soldier has? What do you think this might be used for?
  • Have you had a conflict that you needed help to resolve? Why did you need help? Who did you ask for help? What did they do? How was the conflict resolved?
  • How was the help you were given similar to or different from the help the peacekeepers in Solomon Islands give?
  • Have you ever helped to resolve someone else’s conflict? What happened? What did you do?
  • Who are the peacekeepers in your family? In your community?
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