25 Apr 2019

The Pioneer Battalion in WW1

From Anzac Day, 9:30 am on 25 April 2019

At the beginning of the First World War māori involvement in the NZ military forces was limited and there was robust debate about whether māori should serve in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. By the end of the war 2227 māori and 458 Pacific Islanders had served in the Pioneer Battalion. 

Monty Soutar's new book Whitiki: Māori in the First World War investigates the stories behind how this came about, how tangata whenua served in WW1 and the legacy the conflict has left on Maoridom until the present day.