Gower cops one in the chook

3News

Yesterday I blogged about Patrick Gower’s rude and disrespectful post trying to make political mileage out of a hero retiring from his 23 years service in the army.

Well Willie Apiata’s boss gives Gower a serve:

LIEUTENANT GENERAL RHYS JONES – CHIEF OF DEFENCE FORCE wrote:

Patrick, I can assure you and the public of New Zealand that Corporal Apiata, V.C. will get the send-off from the Defence Force that HE wants.

I think if the New Zealand public has learnt anything about Willie since he rose to prominence for his remarkable act of gallantry, it is that Willie is an incredibly humble man who has never sought the spotlight for himself. Where he has made public appearances and supported causes, these have been where he sensed he could make a difference to his community and New Zealand.

So too it is in the way he wishes to leave the Defence Force. As Defence Force leaders we will first and foremost be guided by Willie’s own wishes to make the transition to his new role beyond the Defence Force in his own quiet and deliberate way. As Chief of Defence Force, I believe he has earned that right.

As to the “rushed” way you claim the NZ Defence Force handled this issue, our statement was of course in response to imminent news media stories we became aware of. It was not the Defence Force that sought to initiate a story but your own brethren. Again, our statement was in accordance with Willie’s wishes.

With regard to the other innuendo and gossip you speculate about in your “opinion piece”, all I can do is refer you again to the statement that Corporal Apiata, V.C. made through the Defence Force yesterday afternoon. As regularly voted one of New Zealand’s “most trusted New Zealanders”, I hope Patrick that you will take Willie’s word on this matter – if not my own – that he left his fulltime military role under good terms, and will continue his long association with the Defence Force as a Reserve Force member:

“This has been a decision that I have not taken lightly and it is one that has taken me many months to make. I am leaving to pursue my goals and to grow with my family. I am very proud of my service with the NZDF and I am very grateful for all of the support I have received from the NZSAS and the NZDF.”


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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