National | ANZAC

Egypt-based Sgt Reihana following in father's footsteps

Sergeant Arihi Reihana of Ngāpuhi was deployed to Egypt in August last year to patrol coastal regions in the Sinai Peninsula.  She's following in the footsteps of her father, who served in the 1st Battalion of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment.

Reihana is just one of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel serving in the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) on peacekeeping responsibilities.  Her main duty is to train soldiers who are deployed into Egypt, not only from Aotearoa, but around the world.

Sergeant Arihi Reihana. Source: Joint Forces New Zealand

"I just tell my whānau that I'm doing a lot of training over here," says Reihana.

It was her father who inspired her to join the army, serving in Malaysia between 1957 and 1966 during the Indonesian confrontation as part of the British Commonwealth forces.

"When I was younger I idolised him and always wanted to be just like him, so that was the main reason why I joined."

(Reihana with parents. Source: Joint Forces New Zealand)

Reihana plans to recognise the special day for New Zealand armed forces from the other side of the world.  She sends her best wishes home.

"Have a great Anzac Day, Aotearoa and look after your family and look after each other.  I will be doing a dawn service here in camp, followed by an Anzac breakfast, then an Anzac lunch, and a Anzac dinner this evening!"

Reihana says that one of her main highlights while being in the army is being able to travel the world.

"I've been travelling a lot so I've been overseas quite a bit.  Alaska, Hawaii, East Timor, Afghanistan, everywhere."

Sergeant Reihana will be returning home in May 2019 and will go "straight to see [her] whānau".