Recruitment call

Māruawai College students watch as the New Zealand Air Force NH90 lands on the field at their...
Māruawai College students watch as the New Zealand Air Force NH90 lands on the field at their school in Gore last week. PHOTO: EVELYN THORN
Southland was lucky to have the New Zealand Defence Force visit via helicopter last week.

One of the New Zealand Air Force’s NH90 helicopters landed at Māruawai College last Wednesday to catch up with the students on their New Zealand Defence Force three-day recruitment drive.

The team landed the helicopter on the sports field, and in classic Southland fashion, had to land it again on a less soft part of ground, thanks to the weather.

The crew chatted to students and gave them a quick tour inside the aircraft.

New Zealand Defence Force recruiter Sergeant Lachie Haddon said the goal was to show students possible future careers in defence.

"We’re giving students a look at the assets we have as a defence force. We do not currently have bases down South, so it’s a good opportunity to stop in and give students a bit of understanding into what we’re all about."

"There has been some good conversations with students so far, with some interest here and there as we travel around schools.

"It’s been a successful and informative trip so far."

Other schools also came along to have a look inside the helicopter and watch it fly in.

Māruawai College’s head of careers Debbie Drummond said the school was "very privileged."

"We don’t get this opportunity often, so we’re quite lucky as a school to get the crew right on our doorstep via helicopter," she said.

"It’s great to see the Defence Force out and about and giving students across the Otago and Southland regions an opportunity to know more about recruitment.

"We actually had an ex-student from last year get into the Defence Force, so it’s very exciting to see them interested in this."

A few students tended to keep in touch with the Defence Force as an option throughout their later school years, she said.