Face of the Day


Willie Apiata had left the Army to invest his considerable skills with at-risk youth:

New Zealand’s only living recipient of the Victoria Cross, Corporal Willie Apiata, is leaving the military.

Prime Minister John Key has revealed Apiata is leaving the SAS to work for the youth charity High Wire Trust.

The Trust, which has an outdoor pursuits centre in Papakura, helps at-risk young people.

“I’m sure he’ll do a great job out there,” Key said.

“He’ll be a great role model for them.”

Apiata had advised the Defence Force several months ago that he intended to leave the regular force but he would remain a member of the reserves.


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  • Adybombs

    I see our pathetic MSM are trying desperately to find a way to blame the government or the army for this, innuendo in the stories etc rather than just saying “this guy has been risking his life for the country for ten years he is now going to move on and serve the community in a new way”. The guy could make moonbeams on the speaking circuit but instead he has chosen to use his mana to help people, but the MSM still have to beat it up
    Team him up with Owen Glenn I say then we might get some shit done!

    • gazzaw

      You beat me to it Ady! TV One just couldn’t help themselves last night to put Apiata’s resignation down to a reflection of the poor morale in the SDF. What a load of biassed bullshit and an insult to the Army with whom Willie Apiata has served for 23 YEARS. I wonder how many of the TV One churnalists & ‘editors’ will stick around TV One for that long? Not only has he served for 23 years he is going to continue in a part time role as a Territorial soldier.

      Is it really surprising to anyone in the real world that serving in the frontline and particularly in the SAS lacks some appeal as the body hits 40. Would a frontline soldier like Apiata choose to stay on in the Army to drive a desk? The answer is fairly obvious – time to pick up a very generous super cheque (23 years service) & move on to a new challenge while you’re still young enough to do so. He obviously does not want to cut his ties completely with the Army so will continue serving with the Territorials and contributing his invaluable experience as a veteran of 23 years. 

      Did anyone from TV One think to talk to Apiata or was speculation sufficient?    

      • GregM

         Very true Gazzaw, However, I met him about 18 months ago at the senior ratings mess at the navy base when he made a visit , and even then it was clear he was getting pissed of bieng used as a poster boy for the NZDF, rather than bieng allowed to do his job.
        This man has made a huge contribution to the country and will continue to do so, I wish him every success.

      • Blokeintakapuna

        You know the MSM – never let the complete truth get in the way of a good story…

      • gazzaw

        Really makes me angry Greg. I was brought up as an air force brat and it pisses me off when organisations & politicians use the regular forces as whipping boys to advance their own agendas. Hypocritical fuckers who never have and never will put their bodies on the line for their country.

    • Neil

       Yeah – I’ve just had a rant at two of them – including Patrick (Mr Bean) Gower

  • tarkwin

    Still looks like Sue Bradford to me.

    • gazzaw

      Bradford should be so lucky.

  • CJA

    Heard this news this morning. I thought he might be going to work for Owen Glenn (I’m assuming he is not part of the High Wire Trust). Good on him and I hope he makes a difference in the community.

  • Gblack

    A VC and he’s still a Corporal ?
    No wonder he wants out

    • gazzaw

      Frontline valour & long service does not necessarily convert to tactical & leadership skills. There is many a fine serviceman who has chosen to stay in the junior ranks too.

      • Gblack

        Not with a VC?
        It strikes me that he possesses leadership skills and his tactical awareness skills seem to be very evident.

    • Johnbronkhorst

      A man that makes a FANTASTIC corporal and soldier!! Not mension the obvious. .BRAVE!!!…Does not automatically make a good general!!

  • 4077th

    I’m surprised Hollywood has not come knocking looking like that? No doubt he also has a comprehensive story book!

    • 4077th

      The 300

  • Steve and Monique

    Honour,Valor,Mana,are words that go a little way to discribe this man.He has served his country at the sharp end of the Army(SAS),and has done so for years.So good luck for the future,he will be a great role model for the younger generation.As for the media,you suck.