Former SAS solider and Ngāpuhi kaumātua Kingi Taurua has revealed he regrets ever serving overseas. He wishes he had stayed in New Zealand to fight for Māori rights alongside other Māori leaders.
He credits people such as Shane Jones and Hone Harawira as being the “real heroes” not people like himself who went overseas to fight for the rights of others while his own people were suffering.
Kingi says, “It would have been better for us to stay at home and fight for our rights, our land, our possessions, the Treaty of Waitangi. That is how I feel. I’m disappointed I went overseas. I wasn’t thinking straight. If I could do it all again, I never would have gone overseas. To fight someone else’s war.”
He also reveals how he was shunned by his iwi when he returned to Ngāpuhi for going overseas and fighting in the army.
"They weren’t supportive of us, the ones from home. They didn’t care for us, the people that went to war for us all. They would say to me, ‘You went and fought for the government. You didn’t stay and fight for your hapū. That is why you won’t find a home back here amongst us.’”
Te Kāea reporter Heta Gardiner speaks to Kingi Taurua tonight at 5:30pm.