10 May 2018
Aircraftman Te Rangiamohia Nikora-Davis was heading towards army life, before having her head turned towards the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).
“I was ready to follow my grandfather’s footsteps – he was in the Army, so initially I was going to apply there,” Aircraftman Nikora-Davis said.
“Then I met Warrant Officer Ngatasha Mana, who led me to the Air Force,” she said.
Aircraftman Nikora-Davis, 20, who grew up in Otaki and Palmerston North, was one of the latest graduates to complete the RNZAF recruit course.
Recently she marched out in front of friends and family on the parade grounds at Base Woodbourne alongside her 53 colleagues. Marking the occasion were two T-6C Texan II aircraft, which performed a flypast over the ceremony.
“The course has been an eye-opener. I’ve enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would. I never thought I’d get to this day,” she said.
Now she will start training as a medic.
“My theory training will be based in Burnham, so I’ll be there for the next three years,” she said.
“Initially I wanted to be a midwife, but I was advised by a family member to look instead at being a paramedic. Obviously you can be a paramedic in the New Zealand Defence Force and that’s why I came this way.”
She hopes her career will include overseas travel – “As much as I can.”
Many find the gruelling physical training during the recruit course difficult, but for Aircraftman Nikora-Davis it was the emotional and mental challenges that were tough.
“I kept trying to keep my hopes up and push forward each day. I would just take each day as it comes,” she said.