Topic: ANZAC

Son of 28th Māori Battalion soldier claims his father's service wasn't recognised

By Raniera Harrison

Hone Nuku Tarawhiti is a man on a mission, he's the son of a 28th Māori Battalion soldier who grew up not knowing his father.

When he found out who his father was, he also uncovered the poor treatment of Māori war veterans.

While Hone Nuku Tarawhiti’s father owned the cloak of a veteran from the 28th Māori Battalion, it seems his services weren't recognised.

He says, “It's a place of learning, a place to refresh the memory, but when former soldiers passed on, they chose to take another path.”

Corporal Jack Albert was part of D Company in the 28th Māori Battalion.

He served nearly 20 years in the armed forces.

His son says the price he paid for his country isn't being reciprocated.

Tarawhiti says, “When he passed away, the family did not attend, the people did not attend. I heard my father was in the hospital for two weeks. His descendants did not attend.”

So his journey began to ensure that no other Māori soldier will ever be treated the same.

“The RSA did not attend at all, the Last Post was not played, The Ode was not read, he was just buried.”

He is also thinking about other Māori families who may be in the same predicament.

“Who are the other families around the country who are carrying the same hurt as I do today?”

Tarawhiti says that the Māori soldier has a different view on war, another reason to enlist.

He says, “So it is said, for God, King and Country, but for the Māori, however, it was the prestige of the land, the unreserved exclusivity of the Māori.”

Māori bravery and gallant Māori soldiers who will forever remain at the forefront of our memories.

“With Anzac Day, so it says, we will remember them. I know we will never forget them, we are one.”

At the setting of their sun, we should remember.

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