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Ernest Taniwha Sutherland

Group of Airmen on board S.S. Arawa, c. October 1917. Edwyn Arnold Fraser Wilding (CAC graduate no. 1) second from right at back, Ross Brodie (CAC graduate no. 9) directly in front of him and possibly Herbert Nelson Hawker (CAC graduate no. 2) to his right (wearing pilot badge). Ernest Taniwha Sutherland (CAC graduate no. 8 and the first M_ori graduate) fourth from left in front (with hat and camera). J. E. Stevens believed to be at extreme left (CAC graduate no. 3) and Clarence James McFadden (CAC graduate no. 4) second from right in front (in front of Brodie). The airmen were on their way from New Zealand to England to begin training with the Royal Flying Corps. From the Edwyn Wilding collection. Airforce Museum of New Zealand (AFM 2007/191.9). Image has no known copyright restrictions.

Group of Airmen on board S.S. Arawa, c. October 1917. Edwyn Arnold Fraser Wilding (CAC graduate no. …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Ernest Taniwha AWMM
  • Surname
    Sutherland AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    14 July 1893 Aero Club Aviators Certificates TurakinaRangatikei Aero Club Aviators Certificates
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Graduated from the Canterbury Flying School.


    The first member of the Maori race to qualify as an airman is Lieut. E. Taniwha Sutherland, of Rangitikei, and a nephew of Mr Tuiti Macdonald, the well-known Maori patriot of Levin. In a spirited letter to his kinsman, Lieut Sutherland, says:
    "Undoubtedly, Tuihi, this is the service d'elite of the Empire, especially when you have got your wings up, but of course you have to take all risks, but that's all in the game. I am quite proud of myself as an airman, especially being the first representative of the race. The aeroplanes we pilot vary in speed from 60 to 150 miles per hour. The slow ones are only used for tuition, while the fast scout and fighter have their respective uses. I think it's up to you and I to teach our race something about flying. Practically, of course, one must be efficient in education, wireless, navigation by stars and compass, topography, and physically fit — sound nerves, normal blood pressure. There's nothing like making a name and then dying. We don't live long at this game, but we don't seem to worry about about. Kia ora, nato teina tamaiti." FEILDING STAR, 17 JULY 1918 AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    25 November 1965 AWMM
    Age 79 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Aramoho Cemetery, McNeill Street, Whanganui AWMM
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  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • Although I am still learning more about my grandfather, I am most proud of his achievements in his lifetime, and passing the knowledge down through the generation so they know their roots about their great grandfather
    Public - Vonda - Direct descendant - 11 April 2017



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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
11 April 2017VondaWellington, New ZealandDirect descendant

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