Kiwi who drowned in Thailand was in the Army

Private Renée Joy Hodgkinson drowned while on holiday in Thailand last week.
Private Renée Joy Hodgkinson drowned while on holiday in Thailand last week. Photo credit: Facebook

The Kiwi woman who drowned while on holiday in Thailand last week was in the Army.

The New Zealand Defence Force confirmed to Newshub that Renée Joy Hodgkinson was a regular force member of the New Zealand Army.

The 24-year-old worked as a medic in the Medical Corps.

"Private Hodgkinson demonstrated a passion for helping others and she will be missed by those who trained and worked alongside her in the Linton and Waiouru Army Camps," the NZDF said.

"The NZDF, especially the Defence Health community, extends its deepest sympathies to her family and friends."

Pte Hodgkinson's body was discovered in the water off the Phi Phi Islands, a popular tourist destination east of Phuket, on Wednesday.

On Sunday her family released a statement via New Zealand Police saying they did not know the details of Pte Hodgkinson's death, and were seeking privacy from media.

"On Thursday 4th January 2018, our world was shattered when we were advised of the tragic death of our precious and beloved daughter, Renee who was holidaying in Thailand," the statement says.

"Since then, we have been supported by friends and family, but we are still coming to terms with this most devastating of news and it is fair to say that the healing process will be long and arduous."

Pte Hodgkinson was reportedly part of a tour group during her visit to the Phi Phi Islands, but decided not to return from the islands with the group.