Gisborne crew ‘destoring’ Te Kaha

Helping out: Sailors on HMNZS Te Kaha from Gisborne are, from left, Able Steward Journee Haapu, Able Stores Accountant Sarah Puha, Able Physical Training Instructor Mahia Morton, Able Medic Max Neustroski, Warrant Officer Marine Technician Neil McIntosh, Leading Stores Accountant Haylee Nuku, Petty Officer Communications Warfare Specialist Candi Fox and Warrant Officer Marine Technician Des Rangiwai.

Eight Gisborne sailors are helping to unpack the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) frigate HMNZS Te Kaha in Canada in preparation for an upgrade.

After a stop-off in Hawaii, the sailors are in British Columbia as the crew readies Te Kaha for her year-long frigate systems upgrade with Lockheed Martin Canada, replacing 20-year-old combat system equipment.

The majority of the crew will return home after the ship is “destored”, which is expected to take two months.

The Gisborne contingent includes Petty Officer Communications Warfare Specialist (POCWS) Candi Fox, who grew up on a farm at Whangara and joined the RNZN after talking to a recruiter. After 10 years of service she has returned the favour by influencing other young men and women in Gisborne to sign up.

She encouraged a cousin, who joined as a navy steward. She also had an influence on Mahia Morton, of Wainui Beach, after speaking to her school Gateway class. The young Morton was hooked, and is now a physical training instructor on Te Kaha.

Also from Whangara and serving on Te Kaha is Able Steward Journee Haapu, who wanted to explore the world outside Gisborne.

He talked to recruiters, who recommended the RNZN if he wanted to see other countries.

Haylee Nuku knew POCWS Fox because she went to the same school as her sister. She had an uncle who used to be a chef in the RNZN, and she liked the idea of some sibling rivalry with her brother, who joined the army. She is now a leading stores accountant on Te Kaha.

Before her posting on Te Kaha, POCWS Fox was a training instructor for Able Medic Max Neustroski, who followed his brother into the RNZN.

Growing up in Gisborne, Able Medic Neustroski loved the ocean and was a surf lifesaver. He did not want a student loan and now, after four years of training, both brothers are qualified medics.

Travel was very much on the mind of Able Stores Accountant Sarah Puha, of Tikitiki. Her sister used to be in the RNZN as a stores accountant, and Sarah followed the same course. She has been to Tokyo, Singapore, Guam and Cairns, and has now added Hawaii and Canada to that list.

The Gisborne contingent includes two “old hands”, the ship’s command warrant officer, Warrant Officer Marine Technician (WOMT) Des Rangiwai, and Warrant Officer Marine Technician Neil McIntosh.

WOMT Rangiwai, from Frasertown, wanted something different from farming and in 1989 rode on his motorbike to see recruiters, with a view to joining as a mechanic.

WOMT McIntosh applied for a civilian mechanics course and to join the RNZN, and got a phone call in 1999 saying there was a marine technician post open, if he joined the next day.

Eight Gisborne sailors are helping to unpack the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) frigate HMNZS Te Kaha in Canada in preparation for an upgrade.

After a stop-off in Hawaii, the sailors are in British Columbia as the crew readies Te Kaha for her year-long frigate systems upgrade with Lockheed Martin Canada, replacing 20-year-old combat system equipment.

The majority of the crew will return home after the ship is “destored”, which is expected to take two months.

The Gisborne contingent includes Petty Officer Communications Warfare Specialist (POCWS) Candi Fox, who grew up on a farm at Whangara and joined the RNZN after talking to a recruiter. After 10 years of service she has returned the favour by influencing other young men and women in Gisborne to sign up.

She encouraged a cousin, who joined as a navy steward. She also had an influence on Mahia Morton, of Wainui Beach, after speaking to her school Gateway class. The young Morton was hooked, and is now a physical training instructor on Te Kaha.

Also from Whangara and serving on Te Kaha is Able Steward Journee Haapu, who wanted to explore the world outside Gisborne.

He talked to recruiters, who recommended the RNZN if he wanted to see other countries.

Haylee Nuku knew POCWS Fox because she went to the same school as her sister. She had an uncle who used to be a chef in the RNZN, and she liked the idea of some sibling rivalry with her brother, who joined the army. She is now a leading stores accountant on Te Kaha.

Before her posting on Te Kaha, POCWS Fox was a training instructor for Able Medic Max Neustroski, who followed his brother into the RNZN.

Growing up in Gisborne, Able Medic Neustroski loved the ocean and was a surf lifesaver. He did not want a student loan and now, after four years of training, both brothers are qualified medics.

Travel was very much on the mind of Able Stores Accountant Sarah Puha, of Tikitiki. Her sister used to be in the RNZN as a stores accountant, and Sarah followed the same course. She has been to Tokyo, Singapore, Guam and Cairns, and has now added Hawaii and Canada to that list.

The Gisborne contingent includes two “old hands”, the ship’s command warrant officer, Warrant Officer Marine Technician (WOMT) Des Rangiwai, and Warrant Officer Marine Technician Neil McIntosh.

WOMT Rangiwai, from Frasertown, wanted something different from farming and in 1989 rode on his motorbike to see recruiters, with a view to joining as a mechanic.

WOMT McIntosh applied for a civilian mechanics course and to join the RNZN, and got a phone call in 1999 saying there was a marine technician post open, if he joined the next day.

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