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26 Paenga whāwhā (April) 2009

E kore rātou e koroua wawe
Penei ia tātou kua mahue nei
E kore hoki rātou e ngoi kore
Ahakoa pehia e ngā āhuatanga o te wā
I te hekenga atu o te rā
Tae noa ki te āranga mai i te ata
Kā maumahara tonu tātou ki a rātou
Kā maumahara tonu tātou ki a rātou

They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn[1]
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them
We will remember them

For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon (1869-1943), verse four, sometimes known as the Ode of Remembrance [2]

This week's programme is dedicated to Māori who fought and died in the First and Second World War.

Like so many of his generation, Tahu Potiki Hopkinson was amping for adventure when he joined the 28 (Māori) Battalion. While he returned home safely in 1945, married, brought up a whānau and remained within the geographic vicinity of his childhood home at Tuahiwi, the time he spent in the army definitely shaped his life. He shares some of his pre- and post-war experiences with Maraea Rakuraku.

According to Dr Monty Soutar[3] no Ngāti Pōrou, Māori more than punched above their weight in their contribution to the Second World War. By the war's end in 1945, well over 3000 Māori men had passed through the 28 (Māori) Battalion (with an infantry battalion numbering 750), filtered through A, B, C or D company. Soutar describes the iwi makeup of the battalion that made it so unique and sheds light on army terminology.

At the entrance to the New Zealand Army Museum in Waiouru stands a monument that remembers the 30,000 New Zealanders who have lost their lives while serving in the New Zealand military. Unlike other more static memorials, Roimata Pounamu is interactive and features an audio system that says the names of those who died. After its construction in 1995, when it was revealed that the greenstone purchased by the museum was in fact stolen from the South Island, the kaitiaki of the whenua (Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio) where the stone was sourced counteracted by gifting an additional piece and undertaking a "trail of tears' from Te Wai Pounamu to Waiouru, remembering Ngāi Tahu soldiers who had died in war. Museum curator Windsor Jones talks with Justine about the monument's chequered history and its role in ensuring New Zealanders never forget.

In 1965 Ngāti Pōrou, Hanara Tangiawha Te Ohaki Reedy (1903 - 1971) spoke at the Anzac Service in Gisborne where he paid homage to those soldiers who had lost their lives in the First and Second World War.


Waiata as sourced from the album AKE, AKE, KIA KAHA E! Sings of the New Zealand 28 (Māori) Battalion featured in this weeks programme

[1] To despise, scorn

[2] As sourced from the booklet accompanying the CD Ake, Ake, Kia kaha e! Songs of the New Zealand 28 (Māori) Battalion

[3] The book outlining the experiences of C Company soldiers and their whānau is titled Nga Tamatoa-The Price of Citizenship, C Company and the 28 (Maori) Battalion and is available through David Bateman publishers.