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Alert!

Auckland Museum will reopen Sunday 7 March

We look forward to welcoming you back on Sunday when our doors open at 9AM. To plan your Level 2 visit, click here.

Cenotaph Stories

  • An Invisible History: Wāhine Māori in the Air Force during World War II

    By Stacey Fraser and Angela Wanhalla (Kāi Tahu)
    History Programme, University of Otago

    'The Style for you is Air Force Blue' was the recruitment tag-line for the New Zealand Women's Auxiliary Air Force, established on the 16th January 1941. In this article Angela Wanhalla and Stacey Fraser from University of Otago look at the formation of the WAAFs and Wāhine Māori who served in the Air Force during the Second World War, who's history has largely been invisible.

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  • Harding Waipuke Leaf

    Harding Waipuke Leaf was born on 6 October 1890 in Whirinaki, Hokianga and was of Ngāpuhi and Te Hikutu descent. Leaf served in both the First and Second World Wars.

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  • Te Rangiataahua Kiniwe Royal

    Te Rangiataahua Kiniwe Royal (Ngāti Ruakawa, Ngāti Tamaterā) fought in both the First and Second World Wars. He was Major in command of the 28th Māori Battalion's B Company when he was injured near Gazala in Libya.

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  • Leading the 28 Māori Battalion: Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Baker

    Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Baker could be considered an ideal soldier - skilled in strategy, he was a courageous and a “worthy commander” who led his troops with courage and mana.

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  • Harry Dansey

    Harry was nearly 40 years old when war broke out in 1914 but he nevertheless volunteered with the second draft of the Maori Contingent. Read about his wartime experiences.

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  • Wiremu Paora

    Lance Corporal Wiremu Paora (Ngāti Whātua) served in the First World War as part of the Pioneer Māori Battalion. He was injured in the battle of the Somme.

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  • Private Te Kuru and the Pioneers

    Private Te Kuru served in the "Pioneers", an important battalion which prepared battlefields for infantry and artillery. Piki carried out this dangerous work at the Western Front in the latter part of the First World War. Explore more of Piki's story.

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  • Ngāpuhi Nursing Sisters

    By Ella Johnson
    Collection Technician, Research Support

    Find out more about the Ngāpuhi Nursing Sisters, who organised themselves using the military ranks and traditions of the New Zealand Army to contribute to New Zealand's War effort during the South African War of 1899 - 1902.

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  • Stuart Alexander Maireriki Campbell

    Much of what we know about Stuart Campbell comes from his brother's stories and poetry. Ella Johnson draws together the threads from these sources to write a history of her Great Uncle's military service.

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  • Māori Mobilisation: Wartime, Peacetime, Covid-19-time

    Dr Aroha Harris
    University of Auckland, History Department

    Historically, major crises – whether war or disease – that took and disrupted far too many lives also generated unreservedly Māori responses, often paying attention to whānau and community health and wellbeing. Dr Aroha Harris ponders iwi Māori capacity to mobilise throughout the 20th and 21st Century.

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