Kaupapa: NZ Defence Force - Te Ope Kātua

Repatriated personnel receive warm welcome home from families

Talisa Kupenga

He huinga taumaha i te taunga rererangi i Tāmaki i te hokinga mai o ngā tūpāpaku e rua tekau mā whitu o te Ope Kātua o Aotearoa he kotahi hoki te tamaiti ki te wā kāinga. Katoa i mate atu i Mareia, i Tairana, i Vietnam hoki i muri i te tau tahi mano, e iwa rau, e rima tekau mā rima.

He whakahokinga o te hunga i tanu ki whenua kē kua roa e moe manene ana.

Koinei te tuarua o ngā whakahokinga kōiwi e whā i tēnei tau, te mea rahi katoa hoki. I tae mai i Kuala Lumpur i tēnei ata, ko te tikanga tokowaru he Māori.

Ko tā te Pirimia a Jacinda Ardern "to see them returned home and to see their families welcome them home was incredibly moving."

Kua wha tekau tau neke atu te whai a te ika ā whiro a Paul Thomas kia whakahoki mai tōna tuakana a Adrian. Ko ia te tuatahi i hinga ki te mura o te ahi i Mareia i te tau rima tekau ma ono.

I te tau whitu tekau mā rima ka oati a Paul ki tōna māmā kia whakahoki mai tō rāua taonga ki te kainga.

Ko tā Thomas "Adrian had a big rapport with our grandmothers and grandfathers and everybody wanted him brought home, now he's home so it's huge."

Ko tā te Minita Take Waonga a Ron Mark "a debt of gratitude to Paul and others and there is a list of names. All opf those poeple should be thanked.

Ko tā te Pirimia “I met some of that family members who have long advocated for this day so doubly emotional for them that it has been such a long time a long struggle and of course the grief of finally having their family members home."

Ki Te Tai Tokerau whakahoki ai a Adrian āpōpō, ā, ki ngā tōpito maha o te motu te hoki o era atu mate.