SUNBIZ

NZ Defence Team Enjoy The Tanoa Way

The 15-member New Zealand Defence team that were deployed here since mid September, will always remember the Tanoa Way. The team began working alongside the Republic of Fiji Military Forces
26 Nov 2020 10:30
NZ Defence Team Enjoy The Tanoa Way
The 15 member New Zealand Defence Force team with staff of Tanoa Plaza Hotel Suva on November 25, 2020.

The 15-member New Zealand Defence team that were deployed here since mid September, will always remember the Tanoa Way.

The team began working alongside the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) in mid-October after completing their 14 days isolation at Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi.

 

Tanoa Way Hospitality
While based in Suva for more than 40 days and working closely with the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, the team happily stayed and enjoyed the hospitality at Tanoa Plaza Hotel Suva.

Senior National Officer for the training team, Lieutenant-Colonel John Barclay, said, it was a pity that with the previous deployments to Fiji they didn’t stay at any Tanoa Group hotels.

He said that the Tanoa Hotel staff were by far better than other from around the world.

“The Tanoa Hotels staff epitomised the culture of Fiji, so friendly, genuine, warm, caring, supportive, I can keep going and I mean that sincerely.”

“I’ve been to a lot of places, and a lot of hotels, the Tanoa Hotels staff are by far the best.”

 

Experience
Lieutenant Colonel Barclay, noted that it was the first time such a large group from New Zealand was deployed to Fiji to train, coach, and mentor alongside local military and defence staff.

The team included personnel from the Royal New Zealand Navy, New Zealand Army and the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

As well as a Ministry of Defence senior policy analyst who shared her expertise in policy development with the Fijian Ministry of Defence and National Security.

“In the morning, when we come down for breakfast, we are greeted with the smiling faces of the Tanoa staff.”

“They greet you and make sure everything’s right for you,” he said.

“We enjoyed their hospitality, shared jokes and fun moments and so forth.”

“When we leave for work, we have this positive frame of mind.”

“Even though we returned at different times after work, we were greeted at the carpark by the security person with a big wave and big bula and so forth.”

“Even when we enter through the doors, at the counter, immediately there would be someone there who would be greeting us and then we would share a few laughs and we go up to our rooms.”

“When we come down, it’s the same experience. And that was something special that; wasn’t forced.

They were not doing it because of the way they understand the job, but more importantly, about who they are, and they are very special people.”

He said the cheerful bula greetings was the same everywhere they went.

“It’s an incredibly special culture, that Fiji is incredible. For some of the younger team members that hadn’t been to Fiji before, this was a learning curve.”

“For others, including myself, I haven’t been to Fiji for about 15 years, this just rekindles that knowledge in the understanding of who you are in Fiji, which is incredibly generous people.”

The NZ Defence team presented a gift to the Tanoa Plaza Suva team yesterday.

Mere Rakoroi, General Manager of Tanoa Plaza and Group Sales Executive said: “I’m forever grateful to the owners of Tanoa Group of Hotels for keeping the hotels open even in light of COVID-19.

“Having the New Zealand Defence Force team stay with us, was a blessing.”

The team returns to New Zealand today.

 

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj


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