Media Release

Award-winning investigative team Stuff Circuit is releasing its most hard-hitting documentary yet, exposing a secret the NZ Defence Force doesn’t want Kiwis to know.

‘Life + Limb’ tells the story of what happened after New Zealand’s Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) left Afghanistan’s Bamyan province in 2013.

“The PRT went to Afghanistan on a mission to rebuild and there’s no doubt they had a positive impact on local infrastructure,” says Circuit reporter Paula Penfold.

“But the unexploded ammunition the force left behind on New Zealand firing ranges has had gut-wrenching consequences – and Kiwis haven’t been told.

“Life + Limb exposes devastating stories of loss and asks the question, why have those accountable not taken responsibility for their actions?”.

The Stuff Circuit team travelled to Afghanistan to investigate the story in October 2019. Producer Eugene Bingham says the stories they found on the ground were far more significant than they were expecting.

“Families have been changed forever. Their grief is still raw. They want to move on with their lives, but how can they when those responsible for their pain refuse to listen to their complaints and pleas for help?”.

“The danger for the people of Bamyan is still very real,” says Penfold. “This is one of the most important – and heartbreaking – stories we’ve ever done. Our hope is that Life + Limb will spur those responsible into action, to make amends for the wrong that has been done.”

Life + Limb was produced with funding from NZ On Air. Scan the QR code below to watch the documentary and explore interactive content at The documentary will also be broadcast on Māori Television at 7.30pm tonight.


For images, interviews or further information:
Melissa Dobson
Communications Specialist
021 801 790


About Stuff Circuit

Stuff Circuit is Stuff’s specialist investigative journalism unit. The team includes reporter Paula Penfold, producer Eugene Bingham, cameraman Phil Johnson and creative director Toby Longbottom. The team works collaboratively to investigate and break the big stories, with recent highlights including The Valley – an investigation into NZ’s role in Afghanistan; Big Decision – an examiniation of abortion law reform; and Infinite Evil – which exposed the darkest reaches of the internet following the Christchurch mosque shootings. The team won Best Current Affairs programme at the 2018 NZ Television Awards and is currently nominated for two 2019 NZ Television Awards.