The history of the 28th Māori Battalion’s D Company will be documented by Harawira Craig Pearless, Education Minister Hekia Parata and Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry have announced.
Ms Parata, who is also the Chair of the Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarship Fund Board, says the A, B, and D companies’ histories are being commissioned to complement Ngā Tama Toa, the C Company history published in 2008.
“When completed, these documents will mark a significant step towards further preserving the legacy of the 28th Māori Battalion. The histories project will also lead to the production of curriculum resources to be used in early childhood education centres, kōhanga reo, kura and schools.
“Whānau participation will be crucial to the project’s success, as they hold the stories, letters, photos and records that will breathe life and colour into the D Company history.
“I’m hoping that whānau will be keen to take part so we can ensure that the history is as rich and detailed as possible, revealing the significant contribution the Battalion’s men and their families made to this country,” Mrs Parata says.
Ms Barry says the history to be written by Mr Pearless will document D Company’s major battles, actions and engagements during World War II. It will also discuss the sacrifices made and commitment of the Hou Kainga (home people) in their support of the war effort and dealing with the loss of loved ones.
“The D Company history, alongside the histories of the other companies, will be highly valuable resources for veterans and their families, and provide historical and educational information for the wider New Zealand public. The histories will commemorate the Battalion’s service to Māoridom and the nation,” Ms Barry says.
The Ministries of Education and Arts, Culture and Heritage along with the Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarship Fund Board are all partnering on this project to document the histories of A, B and D Companies of the 28th Māori Battalion.