Waipukurau Woman Wins Inaugural Soldier of the Year Award

LCPL Amber-Lee Nui.
LCPL Amber-Lee Nui.

2 December 2016

Lance Corporal (LCPL) Amber-Lee Nui, who hails from Waipukurau, has been named the New Zealand Army’s inaugural Soldier of the Year. As Soldier of the Year, LCPL Nui is now in the running for the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) Person of the Year, to be announced on 8 December.

The Chief of Army, Major General (MAJGEN) Peter Kelly, made the formal presentation to LCPL Nui at Trentham Camp in Wellington this week.

MAJGEN Kelly says the award has been introduced to celebrate outstanding individual acheivement and to encourage all soldiers to strive to embody New Zealand Army ethos and values.

“LCPL Nui’s initiative, leadership, endurance and attitude is the embodiment of what we look for in a modern soldier,” says MAJGEN Kelly.

LCPL Nui joined the New Zealand Army as a chef and posted to 2nd Combat Service Support Battalion in Linton Camp on completion of her basic training. This year, she deployed on HMNZS Canterbury for nearly two months to assist with  recovery efforts following Tropical Cyclone Winston. She also travelled to Greece as a member of the NZDF ceremonial guard at the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Crete commemorations.

Her platoon commader  Second Lieutenant (2LT) Zara Houpapa says LCPL Nui is currently a shift manager at Linton Camp mess, a role that requires an extremely high level of time and people management.

“One of the reasons LCPL Nui is so successful is her personality. Her can-do attitude, care for colleagues and positive attitude creates an environment where excellence is achieved,” says 2LT Houpapa.

LCPL Nui is overwhelmed to receive the first Soldier of the Year award.

“I had no idea when I was invited down to Wellington that I would be the Soldier of the Year – it’s an incredible honour,” she says.

As Soldier of the Year 2016, LCPL Nui will receive:

• A Chief of Army’s Commendation
• The Soldier of the Year Trophy for retention in her unit for the year of title held
• A SOTY insignia to be worn on all forms of dress for the year the title is held
• A sponsored learning package
• A tour of duty to an appropriate overseas event or visit
• Sponsored attendance at designated events as guest of Chief of Army or the Sergeant Major of the Army.

This page was last reviewed on 5 December 2016.