9 May 2019
The soldier who died following an accident during a training exercise in Auckland last night can be named as Lance Corporal Nicholas Kahotea, 1st New Zealand Special Air Service Regiment.
Lance Corporal Kahotea joined the New Zealand Army on 25 January, 2006, as a Royal New Zealand Engineer, with an initial posting to the 1st New Zealand Special Air Service Regiment as a specialist searcher in 2008.
He successfully completed NZSAS selection and was badged as an NZSAS operator in December 2014.
He served in Afghanistan, and was awarded the following medals: New Zealand Operational Service Medal (NZOSM), New Zealand Defence Service Medal (NZDSM), New Zealand General Service (NZGSM) and NATO ISAF (Afghanistan).
He will be remembered as a professional soldier, a father and friend to many.
Chief of Army Major General John Boswell said Lance Corporal Kahotea was a consummate professional, who was known for his dedication and reliability – always upholding the Army’s core values in every endeavour.
“He was an outstanding soldier and a top bloke,” Major General Boswell said. “I know that his family, friends and colleagues will be keenly feeling the loss and we offer our deepest condolences.”
The New Zealand Defence Force offers its deepest sympathy to Lance Corporal Kahotea’s family and will extend its full support services to them.
Lance Corporal Kahotea’s family has requested media respect their privacy at this time
An investigation into the accident is being undertaken. Police are investigating on behalf of the Coroner.
The exercise, being carried out with United States forces, is currently suspended.