Angela Swann-Cronin honours ANZAC soldiers at Ōhinemutu

Flight Lieutenant Angela Swann-Cronin (Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata) was the first Māori woman to become a pilot in the New Zealand Air Force.

This morning, she became the first Māori woman to speak at the dawn service held at Ōhinemutu, Rotorua. 

She spent 12 years in the Royal New Zealand Air Force. 

She says, “To date I'm the only Māori woman pilot. I do some public speaking just to encourage our youth, encourage women that they can be anything that they want to be.”

Born and bred in Rotorua, she retired from the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 2009.  

Swann-Cronin says, “As a service person I was involved with international deployments all over the world and from that strong feeling I knew that I could relate to people who fought in past wars, however the war that I was in was quite different.” 

The inspiration for her ANZAC address focused on a soldier's sacrifice in the line of duty. 

“Coming together being united as one I think it's a really strong impression that you get here today that people are finding ANZAC day as more a day to celebrate 'Kotahitanga'.”

Flight Lieutenant Angela Swann-Cronin is now a pilot for Air New Zealand and is based in Rotorua.