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First Female to Top of Trade

Photo Caption: WO Ikenasio with her husband Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Rodney Ikenasio and their daughters Mikayla (left) and Kaitlyn-Marie after her promotion ceremony.

WO Ikenasio with her husband Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Rodney Ikenasio and their daughters Mikayla (left) and Kaitlyn-Marie after her promotion ceremony.

26 March 2013

Blenheim born Teresa Ikenasio reached new heights in her naval career after being promoted to the highest rank of sailors earlier this month.

Warrant Officer (WO) Medic Ikenasio was promoted on 11 March, the first female in the medical trade to attain Warrant Officer rank in the Royal New Zealand Navy.

WO Ikenasio acknowledged that her promotion was significant for both reasons.

"It’s an honour to be recognised with promotion to Warrant Officer, I hadn’t anticipated making it that far when I joined. It’s also a nice step for the Medical trade to have a female Warrant Officer."

WO Ikenasio joined the Navy 22 years ago, drawn by the education available.

"I wanted to be a Nurse but couldn’t afford to go to University at the time. I visited the display bus when it visited Blenheim, and before I knew it I was sitting the exams for entry into RNZN.

"The training opportunities have been excellent; I completed my Bachelor in Health Science (Nursing) through the Navy."

Now working as the Career Manager for Support Trades, WO Ikenasio leads a wide team of sailors from a range of backgrounds. She oversees training courses development and selection, generates offers of service, and oversees the performance management of sailors in the Support trades.

"I enjoy the satisfaction of doing a good job, and making a difference to people’s careers."

WO Ikenasio believes that the Navy is a great place to see the world.

"With the Navy, I have been to Antarctica, spent time on exchange in the UK, and visited both Monte-Cassino and Gallipoli for commemorative visits. That’s to say nothing of the time around many New Zealand, Australian, and South East Asian ports.

"I also went to East Timor, and lived in Suai for six months working in the Forward Surgical Team. That was a very memorable trip! We delivered 24 babies, and performed surgeries on the locals that ranged from cancer treatment to wiring up broken jaws after falling out of coconut trees."

WO Ikenasio married a fellow Naval sailor five years ago, and they have two young daughters.

She keeps herself active and busy with a lifestyle block 50km northwest of Auckland "filled with many animals". In addition, she plays squash, golf, and is involved in equestrian activities with her two daughters.

The Navy has 23% women in its ranks, the highest percentage of all three services. Women are represented across all trades and ranks, ashore and at sea.


For further information or requests for interviews, please contact Lieutenant Commander Vicki Rendall on 021 244 0638.

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