Some three years after an "incident" in Afganistan, Corporal Apiata is informed by his commanding Officer that he is to be awarded the most prestigious military honor of them all - the Victoria Cross.For Willie, used to the deeply covert life of an SAS soldier, it is the start of a roller coaster ride into the forefront of the public eye. In Reluctant hero, we journey with Willie as he copes with the pressure of being a recognisable public figure, a proud role model for Maori, and hero to the nation.We follow Willie from the moment that he learns of the award and go behind the scenes with his family; at the NZSAS; the Victoria Cross investiture at Government House; back to his hometown marae and we relive the "incident" which earned him the coveted Victoria Cross.
The exclusive story behind New Zealand's newest hero
25 April 2008 (New Zealand)
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Did You Know?
Commanding Officer NZSAS
There are only two caveats placed in the awarding of the Victoria Cross. The first is that a single act of extraordinary valour occured. The second is that the nature of this deed was so great it helped turn the tide of the battle being conducted. I also read that you have to have a 90 percent chance of dying.