News

NZ in mourning over soldiers' deaths

BURNHAM Military Camp near Christchurch is in mourning after the loss of five soldiers in little more than a fortnight.

The New Zealand flag hung at half-mast for Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker, 26, Private Richard Harris, 21, and Corporal Luke Tamatea, 31, killed in Bamiyan on Sunday.

For the 2nd/1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (2/1 RNZIR), based in Burnham, 25km south of Christchurch, it is five deaths in two weeks.

Lance Corporals Pralli Durrer and Rory Malone, both 26 and also from 2/1 RNZIR, were killed when their patrols went to the aid of ambushed Afghan police in Bamiyan province on August 4.

"We never really recovered from the last lot - everyone is just so sad," one local shop worker said yesterday, summing up the feelings of many.

Karen Anand, who works at the local service station just outside the barbed wire perimeter of the camp, said the deaths affected everybody who lived and worked in the area.

"We serve these guys every day," she said.

"They are all lovely - just down-to-earth, normal kids. My heart goes out to their families. How many kids are left without dads?

"A couple of women I spoke to think it's going to get even worse over there - and one of them was a soldier's wife. It must affect her more than anyone."

Burnham is the medical training centre for all NZDF medics enlisted in the army, navy or air force, including local recruit Lance Corporal Baker.

It is also home to the Southern HQ of New Zealand Cadet Forces, and the base is used as a launching point for many overseas missions.

But locals feel it has received more than its share of tragedy in recent weeks.

The military actively encourages soldiers to live locally and buy houses in the area.

As a result, any deaths come as a major blow for everybody.

"The first time I hear news of a soldier's death, I wonder do I know them directly?" said Mark Alexander, a Selwyn District councillor.

"Or do I know someone affected by it, and it's almost a certainty.

"They live, work and play in our community. Their kids play in my son's sports teams. So it touches us all. We all feel for those families who've suffered the loss."

Topics:  afghanistan, deaths, new zealand, soldiers



Is your barbecue safe for footy finals weekend

Better safe than sorry when you fire up the barbie this weekend

Author keeps Red Rock story alive

FOND MEMORIES: Red Rock resident and author of new book, The Village That Said No to Town Water, Graham Searl, flicks through the publication.

Book launch at Red Rock today

The water war that divided and unified Red Rock

FOND MEMORIES: Red Rock residents Graham Searl and Gwyn Austen reminisce on the town's fight against town water in the '80s, which is the subject of a new book.

"People on the other side used to say 'this is splitting the town'"

Local Partners

Lady Gaga confirms Super Bowl show

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga to perform in coveted spot

Girls actors give emotional tributes to hit show

Actor Allison Williams

Actors farewell smash hit HBO show Girls after six seasons

Janet Jackson's pregnancy is 'best thing'

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson can't wait to become a mum

Jay Z signs two-year movie and TV deal

Rapper Jay Z

Rapper Jay Z has signed a television and movie deal

Nowhere to Hyde: Matt Nable is Australia's man in demand

Matt Nable stars as Detective Gary Hyde in the TV series Hyde & Seek.

NABLE returns to the small screen amidst busy film work.

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E7: Manifest review

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

Clarence Valley property prices go through the roof

Buyers are hungry to sink their teeth into the Clarence Valley

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

NEW HOME: Agents to the rescue for family of nine

RELIEF: Tanya Cone (middle) with her kids and McKimm's Real Estate property managers Regan Firth and Nadine Greenhalgh who helped find her family a home.

DEX article prompts property managers to help family find new home