Over 100 people gathered at Whareroa Marae for the Annual ANZAC Dawn Service.
Wayne Wanakore (Ngāti Ranginui) says, “Walking with the kaumātua and the kuia here today, being proud of who they are, where they come from and representing their iwi, it has been an awesome morning.”
Mable Wharekawe-Burt (Ngāiterangi, Ngāti Ranginui) adds, “We have taken the essence of this day and brought it to life.”
Prominent Tauranga elder, Kihi Ngatai says that this morning's ceremony touched those who attended.
However, some say the 150 years commemorating the battle of Pukehinahina next week is also a significant day for New Zealanders to acknowledge.
“That's also an issue, remembering the battle that was fought at Pukehinahina,” says Mr Ngatai.
Next Tuesday, we will commemorate the battle of Pukehinahina. 150 years ago, Māori and Europeans were forever joined in the act of death.
“We should not let it lay to waste in the coming years. Lest not forget the ultimate price in war is death,” warns Paraone Gloyne.
Mr Gloyne played a key role in the Ōrākau commemorations earlier this year.
He has advocated for official recognition of the Māori Land Wars. But, the question begs whether they should also be commemorated in today's celebrations.