NATION

From Nabua To New Zealand

Tropical Cyclone Winston not only brought about tales of destruction and despair. Yesterday the monster cyclone brought back one of Fiji’s son who has found success across the horizon. He
04 Mar 2016 09:00
From Nabua To New Zealand
New Zealand Army Sergeant Niumaia Moce of Namacu,Koro in the lomaiviti Group.

Tropical Cyclone Winston not only brought about tales of destruction and despair.

Yesterday the monster cyclone brought back one of Fiji’s son who has found success across the horizon.

He was also among those affected by the cyclone – losing an aunt at Namacu, Koro, Lomaiviti, his village, when Winston damaged everything in its path.

Sergeant Niumaia Moce, 56, of the New Zealand Army returned home last week, part of the first batch of New Zealand soldiers to arrive in Fiji to help.

“You know I was brought up in Mead Road, Nabua, at those triple storey housing. That’s where I lived and I attended Nabua Secondary School,” he said while helping unload consignment from the HMNZS Canterbury which docked at the Port of Suva yesterday.

“I left for New Zealand on September 21, 1987  straight after the first coup. Before that I was an engineer with the Republic of the Fiji Military Forces since 1979.

“I joined the New Zealand Defence Force as a reserve territorial soldier for 10 years before they approached me to join their regular force. By then I was 36. Age does not matter to me because I know that I was not too old for anything. I have been in the regular New Zealand force since 1989,” he said.

Sergeant Moce is a supply technician with the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (RNZALR).

“I have not been to my village. I am here to work. I told my relatives that if I have time then I will visit them.

“We are working within the Lau Group and Tailevu, so I doubt I will be able visit my village in Koro. Our house in the village was also destroyed and sadly I also lost an aunt in the cyclone.

“I had mixed feelings after hearing the devastation caused by the cyclone, but then I am a soldier first. I am here to do my job.

“I went to study engineering in New Zealand when I was with the RFMF. That is where I met my wife who is originally from New Zealand. I came back to Fiji, was deployed to Lebanon for peacekeeping duties and stayed in Fiji until my wife wrote a letter requesting Rabuka if I can go back to New Zealand.

“I was given two choices; whether to leave for New Zealand or go to my village in Koro, but I chose New Zealand instead,” Sergeant Moce said jokingly.

He has a 23-year-old daughter and a three-year-old granddaughter.

He has four sisters and a brother who all live in  Fiji.

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