Christ­mas in the Mid­dle East

Katikati Advertiser - - Your Community Voice -

Wayne Wanakore has been on nu­mer­ous de­ploy­ments in the past with the NZ Army in­clud­ing Sin­ga­pore, Bos­nia, East Ti­mor and Iraq.

Last Tues­day, Novem­ber 13 he was de­ployed once again to the Mid­dle East where sit­u­a­tions change on a daily ba­sis. Wayne and a small team of Kiwi soldiers will play a sig­nif­i­cant role in the cur­rent NATO Op­er­a­tion in Afghanistan.

He said it is an op­er­a­tion that New Zealand has been a part of since 2011 and has re­cently been given an ex­ten­sion by the Gov­ern­ment un­til late 2019.

“With­out go­ing into to much de­tail, the mis­sion is sim­i­lar to what I have done for most of my ca­reer — train soldiers and of­fi­cers in all as­pects of war, the same skills, ethos and val­ues we teach our NZ De­fence Force per­son­nel.”

Get­ting on in years Wayne thought he would have been passed over by the Army be­cause of his age but he man­aged to meet all the pre-req­ui­sites for the role in­clud­ing fit­ness, skills and ex­pe­ri­ence to edge out many other per­son­nel who had put in nom­i­na­tions.

“I am proud to rep­re­sent my wha¯ nau and coun­try again on op­er­a­tions and am hon­oured to have been cho­sen.”

Wayne’s re­cent role has been as a trainer with 3/6 RNZIR Army Re­serves. This unit is an amal­ga­ma­tion of the 3rd Auck­land Reg­i­ment and the 6th Hau­raki Reg­i­ment back in 2011.

Be­fore join­ing the Reg­u­lar Force (RF) Army Wayne was a soldier of the 6th Hau­raki — its his­tory runs through­out the cities of Tau­ranga, Ro­torua, Whakata¯ ne, Hamil­ton and Toko­roa.

“The Army Re­serves are where most RF soldiers start their ca­reers,” Wayne says.

“I rec­om­mend it to any young or mid­dle-aged male or fe­male to give a go.

“It is re­ward­ing and chal­leng­ing, you get to meet friends for life and share some ex­cit­ing ex­pe­ri­ences that you can not get any­where else.

Wayne and wife Renee have four chil­dren — Riana, Maraea, Ta­mati and Iso­bel. He said he al­ways seeks the sup­port of his fam­ily be­fore com­mit­ting to a de­ploy­ment.

Af­ter many years away on mis­sions, Renee con­tin­ues to keep the fam­ily go­ing with the ar­du­ous and at times chal­leng­ing tasks of tend­ing to fam­ily busi­ness on her own.

The girls be­ing older now are ex­pected to help around the house and sup­port her.

“My son, who is three, is able to get away with a lot more than his sis­ters but will still be re­quired to pick up his toys.

“It doesn’t get any eas­ier the more de­ploy­ments I go on, leav­ing fam­ily is al­ways hard.”

Wayne’s de­ploy­ment takes him away from home in Katikati for nine months. It is longer than the usual six months he is used to.

“But that’s the way it goes. I will miss im­por­tant events like Christ­mas and my daugh­ters’ birth­days.

“My own birth­day will be spent away but that is not the first time for me.

“To my Mum – I love you to the moon and back!

To my wife Renee, no words can ex­press my love for you and our chil­dren ex­cept, for­ever! To my sis­ters, thank you for keep­ing the home fires burn­ing, And to my girls, be good.”

“See you all at Paeahi Wanakore’s un­veil­ing in Au­gust 2019!

Nor­eira, tenei te mihi ki a koutou, Tena koutou ka­toa.

Wayne Wanakore with wife Renee, daugh­ters Iso­bel, Riana and Maraea be­fore he left for Afghanistan.

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