Willie Apiata is a quintessential Kiwi – hardworking, humble, and honest. It’s these qualities, honed in his home town of Te Kaha and through his career in the New Zealand Army, which led him to performing one of New Zealand’s most heroic acts of bravery.
In 2004, he was awarded the honourable Victoria Cross of New Zealand for the role he played in a firefight in Afghanistan. Apiata is the only recipient of the Victoria Cross for New Zealand. In 2008, Apiata donated his VC to the NZSAS Trust, so that “the medal is protected for future generations”.
His truly incredible story of courage, brotherhood and survival inspires New Zealanders to be more community-minded and to treasure our loved-ones.