A Rotorua woman has played a key role in helping deliver aid to cyclone-ravaged Fiji.
Able Chef Harata-June Douglas said being part of the New Zealand Defence Force's (NZDF) aid to Fiji had been the best part of her Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) career so far.
She is currently on the Offshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS Wellington, which delivered about 60 tonnes of aid supplies and carried out a variety of tasks in the early stages of the disaster relief efforts in Fiji.
The 24-year-old is Rotorua born and bred, and attended Rotorua Girls High School. She completed her professional certificate and diploma through the RNZN and is now a Navy chef.
"I joined the Navy in May 2012 because I wanted to make a difference, and travel."
"In the RNZN we get the opportunity to travel all around the world, and make friends for life.
She said the highlight of her career so far had been the trip and being able to help out another country in need.
Close to 500 combat engineers, soldiers, sailors and aircrew have been deployed to Fiji, making it one of NZDF's largest peacetime deployments to the Pacific.