Topics: 28th Māori Battalion, ANZAC

Tūhoe group to commemorate iwi's soldiers in Europe

updated By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Tūhoe descendants have marked this 100th Armistice anniversary with plans to retrace the footsteps of their ancestors on European soil.

Remembering her grandfather Private Pa Te Amo, who fought in the First World War and was awarded the Military Medal, Jackie Te Kurapa (Ngāi Tūhoe) will be part of the group making that special trip overseas.

Te Kurapa attended the Armistice Commemorations held at Piripari Marae in Waimana today, where locals and families gathered to acknowledge the 77 Tūhoe soldiers who were part of the Māori Pioneer Battalion.

Renowned Tūhoe elder Hemana Waaka has organised the 2019 expedition and says the journey is one close to their hearts.

“This is a journey to take the descendants of these soldiers who are closely related to them,” he says.

Representing her whānau on the trip ahead, Te Kurapa says, “I am going on behalf of my grandfather who went to the First World War, Pā Te Amo. Last year he was awarded a medal. I will be retracing his footsteps.” 

Forty-five Tūhoe members have signed up for the trip, 12 of whom are youth who attend Ruatoki and Huiarau Wharekura.

“They will never be forgotten because they live in us their descendants,” says Te Kurapa.

The group leaves for Europe in March.