Willie Apiata

by Georgia from Kaikoura

Willie Apiata ( ())
Willie Apiata ( ())

Corporal Bill Henry 'Willie' Apiata, age 40, is a highly celebrated New Zealand hero. He is a recipient of the Victoria's Cross of New Zealand, and also a member of the Special Air Service of New Zealand. He is a very brave and courageous man, and very well-known across New Zealand; in 2008 he became 'the most trusted New Zealander'. () ()

A member of the NZ SAS, Apiata was awarded the Victoria's Cross for New Zealand for outstanding bravery in the field. He carried an injured comrade across a battlefield under heavy fire to a medical centre. He then joined the rest of his compatriots in battle.

Apiata has now dedicated his VC and other medals to the Special Air Service Trust based in Papakura, Auckland. This is a very generous act, one not many people would do. He has many excellent characteristics; generosity, bravery, courage, modesty and kindness.

Willie's father is Maori and his mother Pakeha. His parents are separated. He is close to his mother but has not had contact with his father for quite a few years. He is the third youngest out of the family; he has three sisters.

 He had the early years of his life in Northland but then moved to Te Kaha in the eastern Bay of Plenty. There he attended the Whanau-a-Apanui Area School which he left exactly on the day of his fifteenth birthday.

 At 16 years old, his mother sent him to live with relatives in Auckland; he is very close to his family. He affiliates to the Nga Puhi iwi {tribe} through his father. But Willie had spent so much time in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, he feels very strongly towards Whanau-a-Apanui. That is also the iwi of his partner. His home marae is Tukaki Marae which is in Te Kaha. 

Willie has a four year old son, he spends every weekend he can with his son. Though separated from his partner of seven years, he's a devoted father.

  Willie Apiata, a great hero, but why do we think so? A man willing to risk his own life by carrying a fallen comrade under fire. not many people would risk their life in the flame of battle. He is well-known throughout New Zealand due to his stunning bravery. A very trusted New Zealander. All New Zealanders, and others outside of our small country, are proud of him. It was a great, selfless, brave and courageous action. This is why he's our hero. This world's lucky to have HEROES like him here.

Page created on 3/7/2013 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 3/7/2013 12:00:00 AM

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