'I felt alone' - Wife of Kiwi soldier killed in line of duty says Poppy Day is important to help families 'get through' loss of loved ones

The theme for this year's RSA Poppy Appeal, not all wounds bleed, is highlighting mental health injuries which are the most common, but least understood, of all wounds suffered by New Zealand servicemen and women.

Tina Grant's husband Corporal Doug Grant, was killed in line of duty in Afghanistan in 2011.

"When I went back to work four weeks later I felt alone ... everything hit me, that I am now a solo mum of two kids working full time and I'm the sole provider," Ms Grant, who also works for the Defence Force told TVNZ1's Breakfast today.

She says there's now more awareness about metal health issues and how they effect "not only soldiers but the families too".

After discovering gaps in support services the Defence Force offered to families of those killed while in the military Ms Grant created a role where she now works with families who lost loved ones in service.

"The soldiers go to work ... but when they come home, it's the families that have to pick them and put up with the mood-swings, anger and depression,"

"That's why Poppy Day is so important, to help these people get through."

Defence Force's Tina Grant who lost her husband in line of duty sat down and spoke with TVNZ1's Breakfast today. Source: Breakfast

Raw video: Catamaran sinks rapidly off Northland coast after six people, kids flee to shore in life raft

Six people have been rescued from an island group off Northland's east coast after their catamaran hit rocks and sank.

Police said the 30-foot catamaran struck rocks about 5am this morning near the Mokohinau Islands east of Whangarei and north of Great Barrier Island.

The vessel sank, and six people boarded a life raft and made it to shore.

They were picked up by the Westpac Rescue and Northland Rescue Helicopters and taken to Whangarei's Kensington Hospital - they were cold, but largely uninjured.

The passengers were two adult men and four children, Police said, and the vessel was on its way from Great Barrier Island to Whangaparoa at the time.


New Zealand's 'hidden killer' on the roads - AA calls for urgent roadside drug testing

The AA is calling for urgent funding for police to randomly test drivers at the roadside for drug intoxication, calling it New Zealand's "hidden killer".

Dylan Thomsen of the AA, speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast, said driving under the influence of drugs is very common in New Zealand, with cannabis the most prevalent drug.

P or methamphetamine intoxication was also being seen on New Zealand roads, he said.

Roadside saliva testing showed recent use, rather than long term use such as the results produced by a urine test.

The effects of drugs on drivers varied with the drug, Mr Thomsen said, with cannabis making people more inattentive and tired, while P often made drivers more aggressive and reckless.

"You've got a small device that you put into your mouth that you lick a couple of times," he said.

"You give that back to the police officer and it takes a couple of minutes for the results to come through."

The cost would be about $9 million to test about 45,000 motorists per year - New Zealand spends about $40 million per year on its drink driving enforcement.

Mr Thomsen said analysis had shown for every $1 invested, about $8 in benefits from reduced crashes could be expected.

Dylan Thompson of the AA says drug driving is a huge problem and very common on New Zealand roads. Source: Breakfast