Gower cops one in the chook


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:


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.”

Do you want:

  • Ad-free access?
  • Access to our very popular daily crossword?
  • Access to daily sudoku?
  • Access to Incite Politics magazine articles?
  • Access to podcasts?
  • Access to political polls?

Our subscribers’ financial support is the reason why we have been able to offer our latest service; Audio blogs. 

Click Here  to support us and watch the number of services grow.