Despite a number of Māori military veteran’s submitting claims to the Waitangi Tribunal this week, there is still a strong bond between Māori and the New Zealand Army. One current solider recently spoke to Te Kāea from Egypt.
There's no doubting Māori dedication to the armed forces and Raniera Bradley is carrying on that tradition.
“Bit of a shock at first but then you kind of get used to it,” says Bradley.
A driver in the army, he will be based in Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.
Whilst his work may not be as dangerous as other New Zealand missions overseas, Christmas away from home is a little daunting.
According to Bradley, “We all miss home very much and every chance we get we get together, we listen to kiwi music and have haka practise maybe three times a week, any chance we get really just to do things like back home.”
Raniera grew up in Ruatorea and is following in the footsteps of some of his forebears from the C Company, thinking of his home a lot at this time.
“Being back up the coast, being with my family. This is the first Christmas away from Ruatorea so yeah,” says Bradley.
Raniera also wants to send a very special message for his family.
“To Stace I miss you, to my daughter Te Aranga i miss you heaps and I’ll see you soon.”
It’s hoped that all New Zealand soldiers throughout the world remain safe throughout the Christmas season.