A Maori leadership academy is raising money to send its Ngapuhi cadets to Italy to retrace the journey of their elders who served in the 28th Maori Battalion.
Thirty rangatahi attend the Whangarei academy, which runs like a Maori boarding school.
It aims to develop leadership among the young men through education, culture and examples set by the Maori Battalion.
The academy leader, Ken Tipene, says it wants its cadets in Italy in May to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the battle of Monte Cassino.
He says it's about cementing the connection between rangatahi and those who served in World War II - so that the legacy lives on in them.
Mr Tipene hopes having that connection will help the cadets to achieve in their lives.