What Better Role Model
Corporal Willie Apiata, 40, the only living New Zealander to hold the country’s top award for battlefield gallantry, the Victoria Cross, is quitting the military to work with vulnerable youth at Papakura’s High Wire Charitable Trust. Apiata won the honour after saving the life of a severely injured soldier in Afghanistan in 2004. According to his Army citation, Apiata carried the bleeding soldier 70m through enemy fire to safety. High Wire Trust chairman Calum Penrose said: “We help and educate young people, and provide good role models for them to look up to and aspire to, and who better than Willie?” Apiata was a soldier for 23 years, rising to become a member of the elite Special Air Service. He was named New Zealand’s most trusted person in a 2008 Reader’s Digest survey.