Friends, family and dignitaries have given three New Zealand soldiers killed in Afghanistan an emotional farewell.
Corporal Luke Tamatea, Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker and Private Richard Harris were farewelled by hundreds at a memorial service at Burnham Military Camp in Christchurch on Saturday, six days after they were killed by a roadside bomb in Bamyan Province.
The soldiers were part of the 140-strong New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction team in Bamyan, a team which lost two other soldiers a few weeks ago.
Family members spoke of their pride in all the soldiers, with Cpl Tamatea's brother Hayden saying he joined the Navy because he would have had a huge shadow to follow in the army.
Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae, a former Defence Force chief, said the soldiers were "fine examples of ordinary New Zealanders who answered the call of service".
Sir Jerry says the soldiers made a positive difference to the people of Bamyan, having rebuilt hospitals and roads, helped deliver education and health programs and improved local governance and security.
Sir Jerry told the families of the slain soldiers there was nothing he could say to erase the grief they were feeling.
"What I can say is that those you lost served with great honour. They demonstrated at the highest level, courage, comradeship, commitment and integrity, which are the values the New Zealand Defence Force holds as central to underpinning its ethos."
Prime Minister John Key spoke of his pride in the team, describing the fallen soldiers as "three courageous, committed people that made a difference in the world".
Major Craig Wilson, the team's commanding officer, said it had been an honour to serve with them.
The bodies of the soldiers have been returned to their families for private services.