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Lower Hutt Man Keeps Watch in New Caledonia

4 September 2014

Media Release

Lower Hutt Man Keeps Watch in New Caledonia

From Hawaii to Antarctica, the Hutt Valley’s Lieutenant (LT) Payton Kaiwai has been keeping watch in our Navy’s fleet for the past three years. LT Kaiwai is currently in New Caledonia for Exercise Croix Du Sud, a joint amphibious exercise which aims to foster and sustain cooperative Defence relationships in our corner of the world.

LT Kaiwai, a former Hutt Valley High School and Taita College pupil, is leading a team of bridge watch-keepers on HMNZS CANTERBURY, the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Amphibious Support ship.

LT Kaiwai is responsible for ensuring the ship is navigationally safe, and that operations are conducted smoothly. With multiple helicopter landings each day during Exercise Croix Du Sud, light craft launching, ship to shore vehicle transfers, and keeping warships in company, there is never a dull moment.

Exercise Croix Du Sud brings together military forces from nine nations for realistic Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) training. The NZDF does a considerable amount of work in this area, and in the past 12 months alone NZDF assets have deployed to multinational HADR efforts after Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and floods in the Solomon Islands.

During this exercise LT Kaiwai received his Advanced Officer of the Watch certification, allowing him to supervise other personnel undergoing training. He adds this qualification to several NZDF courses and a Bachelor of Laws, completed before joining the Navy. Having a degree meant that LT Kaiwai progressed quicker through the officer ranks.

New Caledonia is just one of the many places LT Kaiwai’s Navy career has taken him. From fighting bush fires on Great Barrier Island, to re-supplying the sub-Antarctic Islands, conducting Southern Ocean patrols and being part of a fleet of 36 warships for Exercise RIMPAC in Hawaii, LT Kaiwai enjoys the lifestyle and variety that working for the Navy offers.

“I get paid to travel, have made a lot of great friends and have gained a strong work ethic, ambition and a drive to succeed,” LT Kaiwai said.

When LT Kaiwai returns to Auckland he will post to HMNZS MANAWANUI, the Royal New Zealand Navy’s dive tender, as the Navigating Officer, and prepare for an inter-service golf tournament through the Navy’s Golf Club.


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