Topic: NZ Defence Force - Te Ope Kātua

Soldier and son Tuterangi Kawha returns home

By Mere McLean
  • North Island: East Coast

The remains of another soldier from Te Whakatōhea and Te Whānau-a-Apanui were returned to Ōpape on the East Coast.

Tuterangi Kawha was enlisted in the NZ Army in 1957 and travelled to Malaya with the first NZ Regiment.

It was an emotional welcome home for Kawha.
 
Te Riaki Amoamo (Te Whakatōhea) says, "He has finally returned home to Ngāi Tamahaua of Te Whakatōhea."
 
Tuterangi was born in Ōpōtiki in 1935.  He was raised by his grandmother, Poirangi Kawha, in Ōpape.
 
His cousin Heremaia Warren says, "Tuterangi was her daughter's son, and Nan every now and then...she absolutely loved the boys."
 
In 1957, he enlisted in the NZ Army and trained as a signaller.  

In November of that year he travelled with the army to Malaya.  

In 1958, Tuterangi was accidentally killed by a falling tree while on patrol.  
 
Warren says, "Tuterangi went and he got killed over in Malaya and then she swore none of her other mokos were going to go overseas and join the forces."

Today he has been laid to rest at Waiorata Urupā.