RNZN Navy Able Rate Marine Technician Jaytee Tuatama will attend Anzac Day commemorations in Samoa on 25 April. AMT Tuatama is pictured with his daughter and Xantayn Sui Wright-Tuatama (pronounced zan-tayn) at a ship’s family day on HMNZS Wellington last year.
14 April 2015
Auckland-based Royal New Zealand Navy Able Rate Marine Technician (AMT) Jaytee Tuatama is proud to be representing New Zealand and Samoa on Anzac Day this year.
AMT Tuatama, who has Samoan parents, joined the Navy in 2009 and works as a marine technician. He looks after the ship’s maintenance and diagnostics.
Born and raised in Manurewa AMT Tuatama attended St Annes in Manurewa and De La Salle College in Mangere.
“During my final years I fell off the track, had a child at 16, and was going to school and working as well as trying to raise my daughter. After two years my partner and I split up and I started working with youth. It was during a youth camp working with Waiperaira Trust that my co-worker/friend convinced me to join the military. I joined and have never looked back,” says AMT Tuatama.
AMT Tuatama will join New Zealand representatives at the dawn service in Samoa on 25 April and a New Zealand service at Magiagi Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery later in the day.
AMT Tuatama says he is proud to be representing his country on this historic occasion, “how I feel is beyond words. I remember the day I finished basic training and saw my family at my graduation, the pride I felt “yes, I had made it” was the best feeling in the world.
“Now, I get to represent the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) in my motherland which is an amazing opportunity for me.”
As for historic links to the military, AMT Tuatama has been told many times by his Great-Grandmother Mary Stevens, who is still alive today, that he had two uncles who served in the Royal New Zealand Navy in the 1940s on HMNZS Leander and HMNZS Achilles.
AMT Tuatama also has a passion for helping youth in need.
“I am currently a youth working for T.Y.L.A Otara (Turn Your Life Around). It’s great to meet and talk to youth who come from the same background, and to show them that they can achieve things they think are far beyond their reach, seeing them succeed gives me great hope.”
AMT Tuatama is one of seven NZDF personnel of Pacific Islands descent that will attend Anzac Day commemorations in the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tonga.
For more information please contact Defence Public Affairs on 021 487 980