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Wai 2200 Porirua ki Manawatu Inquiry

Involved in the Ngāti Raukawa Treaty claim process, ngā hapū o Kereru claimant Te Kenehi Teira started to consider the extent and significance of Ngati Raukawa participation in 20th century wars. While Iwi on the East Coast were well-known for having fought overseas (eg C Company, Māori battalion), what was Ngāti Raukawa's story?

At the beginning of the substantive hearings at Hato Paora College on 13th March 2020, Te Kenehi put the idea to the Waitangi Tribunal which  responded positively - thus this research project had its genesis.  The  Wai 2200 inquiry relates to the Porirua ki Manawatu inquiry district - including Ngati Raukawa, Te Atiawa and Muaupoko. The inquiry is covering a wide range of issues relating to whenua, waterways and tino rangatiratanga. Research reports are funded by Crown Forestry Rental Trust for the whanau, hapu, iwi and the Waitangi Tribunal to learn about their history including grievances.

The report - "Ngati Raukawa and 20th Century Wars, Ngā Pakanga o te Ao, Participation, Price and Post-War Experience" - has provided an opportunity for many whānau to share stories about participation in war, which when compiled, creates a bigger picture of the Ngāti Raukawa and affiliated iwi and hapū involvement in war, and its impact on their people and community.

Here is a brief insight into what was learned.

Ngāti Raukawa Sacrifice and Suffering in 20th Century Wars

Despite large loss of land and disregard from the Crown in the 19th century, 50 years later Ngāti Raukawa men were enlisting in large numbers to fight in World War One, and later World War Two.

How did that happen? Was it that Ngāti Raukawa had a proud tradition of fighting and wanted a chance to prove their skill and ability on the battlefield again? Was it that land-loss and colonization had made survival a struggle? Was it the appeal of travel overseas and adventure alongside brother, cousin, uncle and nephew? All of the above and more.

Te Pakanga Tuatahi o te Ao : First World War 

The experience of being in the Mounted Rifle brigades early last century was exciting, fun and even glamorous - riding horses, handling guns on horse-back, attending tournaments and balls. The Tahiwi, Royal, Carkeek and Bevan whānau were some of those who were in the Otaki Mounted Rifles, then enlisted in the Maori contingent in 1914.

Unknown, photographer (1914-1918). Five service personnel on board RMS Rotorua. Pirimi Tahiwi first on the left holds camera. Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira, A. G. Macdonald Album 2 \u003ca href=\"\"\u003e ‘PH-ALB-546-p24-8’\u003c/a\u003e

Unknown, photographer (1914-1918). Five service personnel on board RMS Rotorua. Pirimi Tahiwi first on the left holds camera. Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira, A. G. Macdonald Album 2 ‘PH-ALB-546-p24-8’

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira. No known copyright restrictions.
Although doing the haka at Gallipoli lifted the spirits of our men and terrified the Turks, both Pirimi Tahiwi and Rikihana Carkeek were shot in the neck, and hospitalized. Private Pahia Ropata was the first of our men to lose his life there. Tau Paranihi of Fielding was awarded a DCM for bravely fighting off five Turks, killing four and capturing the fifth. But the injury to his hand by grasping a bayonet caused life-long suffering.

Through studying the army files of over two-thirds of the 84 men who served in World War One, we were able to identify that many of our men were also hospitalized through illnesses such as poison gas or trench fever, and several were also subject to field punishment – being shackled and fettered (FP2), or tied to posts or gun-wheels every day for a week or two (FP1).  Three were killed in action, five died of illness while in service or during the war, and several more died of illness within the next fifteen years. 

Government support for these men after their return home was meagre, with only four able to get access to any land under the Discharged Soldiers’ Settlement Scheme, a much lower percentage than non-Māori. There was no specific rehabilitation scheme for Māori, and few received any help.

Pakanga Tuarua o te Ao : Second World War

Over a hundred Ngāti Raukawa men (109) joined the 28th Maori battalion in World War Two, and a total of 181 Ngāti Raukawa men and one woman (Ruth Ransfield) participated in World War Two and served overseas. Some were in the 2NZEF, Air Force, Navy and other forces. Thirty-two men lost their lives, either dying from wounds or were killed in action during the conflict, and eight suffered for years in POW camps. The trauma of war affected many long-term, and no-one was left unscathed.

Post-Second World War service

Ngāti Raukawa uri continued to serve in the New Zealand armed forces including during Jayforce, the Korean War, Malayan conflicts, Vietnam War and Afghanistan. This service included Major General Brian Poananga, chief of General Staff; Ngāti Kauwhata; J-force, Korea, Malaya, Borneo, Indonesian, Vietnam; Honours - MB, CBE, OBE, MBE. 

"Due to time constraints, we regret we have not been able to write more about Ngāti Raukawa experiences in Japan, Korea, Malaya, Vietnam and elsewhere. One senior whanaunga, however, Helene Hakaraia (Ngāti Wehiwehi, Ngāti Kapu), has extensive knowledge of these wars, and states that there are many grievances related to army lack of care for Māori and other veterans in relation to both World Wars, as well as J-force, K-force, Vietnam, and Malaya" (p.233)

The report notes there is a considerable scope for more research on the topic of Ngāti Raukawa in 20th Century wars and we hope this report sparks further interest in researching their war experience.

Researchers Te Kenehi Teira and Heeni Collins at the Wai 2200 Porirua ki Manawatu Inquiry

Researchers Te Kenehi Teira and Heeni Collins at the Wai 2200 Porirua ki Manawatu Inquiry

All Rights Reserved.
Ngā mihi nunui to Te Kenehi Teira Heeni Collins, Tata Lawton and Turoa Karatea who kindly provided Online Cenotaph the research to identify 350 Ngāti Raukawa uri who served Aotearoa New Zealand in times of international conflict from the South African Wars to Afghanistan. Further credit for World War II research goes to Reuben Waaka and Diane Taylor.

The research report, “Ngāti Raukawa and 20th century wars. Ngā Pakanga o Te Ao. Participation, Price, and Post-War Experience”, is provided below. The report was commissioned by Crown Forestry Rental Trust, Wellington (Wai 2200 Porirua ki Manawatu Inquiry).

Wai 2200 Report

  • Appendices
  • Last updated on: 28 Jun 2022 | File Size: 8.5 MB

  • Summary
  • Last updated on: 28 Jun 2022 | File Size: 57 kB

  • Errors identified and updated 22 April 2022
  • Errata
  • Errors identified and updated 22 April 2022
  • Last updated on: 28 Jun 2022 | File Size: 29 kB

Cite this article

Te Kenehi Teira and Heeni Collins. Ngāti Raukawa Sacrifice and Suffering in 20th Century Wars. Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira. First published: 28 June 2022. Updated: 14 July 2022.

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Displaying 1 - 20 of 350 records
PhotoFamily nameFirst namesForceWarsService # 
C117749AndersonBoydArmyWorld War II, 1939-1945449259 
C34359ArmstrongAlexanderArmyWorld War II, 1939-1945, World War I, 1914-191816/250, 805566 
C102199ArmstrongWilliam HenryArmyWorld War I, 1914-191862903 
C128840BakerNohinohi MahimaArmyJayforce, 1945-1948, Jayforce, 1945-1948816630 
C128842BakerPeter WakefieldArmyJayforce, 1945-1948, Jayforce, 1945-1948816655 
199010BakerRaumoa MatengaArmyKorean War, 1950-1953, Malayan Emergency, 1948-1960206989 
C128765BellBenjamin RanieraArmyWorld War II, 1939-194539747 
C128824BellCharles RangiririArmyWorld War II, 1939-1945, Korean War, 1950-1953805188, 206126 
201950BevanEdward PerekiNavyRegular Military Service646954 
C38468BevanHenry RaymondArmyWorld War I, 1914-191810/1741 
148992BevanLeslie CharlesArmyWorld War II, 1939-1945260446 
122903BevanLlewellyn ManuitiArmyWorld War II, 1939-194516401 
130009BevanRichard PakiraArmyWorld War II, 1939-1945554626 
C128852BlackmoreRaymondArmyJayforce, 1945-1948, Jayforce, 1945-1948816641 
C119686BrightwellMurray RichardArmyWorld War II, 1939-1945631478 
C116089BrownRobertArmyWorld War II, 1939-194539044 
C119691CarkeekManukiaoArmyWorld War II, 1939-1945804674 
76479CarkeekRikihanaArmyWorld War II, 1939-194527441 
C34379CarkeekRikihanaArmyWorld War I, 1914-191816/256 
C114614ClimiePutuArmyWorld War I, 1914-191816/257