There is a common perception that Waikato and Maniapoto refused service when New Zealand joined the war effort of 1914 – when in fact many young men signed up.
Published: Rāapa, 06 Haratua, 2015 | Wednesday, 6 May 2015
Kīngitanga stalwart Tom Roa says that it was the events that took place prior to the war that shaped the stance Waikato-Maniapoto took towards participating in the War.
“It was only when the government targeted Waikato Māori with a conscription drive in 1917 that there was a boycott led by Princess Te Puea,” he said.
This is the backdrop against which the stories of six Waikato-Maniapoto World War one veterans and one conscriptee are being told through an exhibition, book, and DVD called Maiea te Tupua ‘Satisfying the Spirit’.
Tom Roa and researcher Maehe Paki gathered information from the descendants of these men in order to produce, Maiea te Tupua.
For co-author Maehe Paki she hopes that the publication honours the secondhand accounts the whānau gave. “We just hope that we have done justice to the kōrero, but more importantly, to the wairua,
“The sense of adventure, the new worlds, and the new ways explored in travelling overseas which the whānau of those who served overseas were very keen to reflect on”.
Maiea te Tupua 'Satisfying the Spirit' re-tells the stories of Kohatu Hari Hemara Wahanui; Tuheka Taonui Hetet; Te Rehe Amohanga; Rotohiko Michael Jones; Joseph Ormsby; Wiremu Takoro Kohi; and Te Rauangaanga Mahuta, through interviews compiled with their whānau.
The book and DVD were unveiled at Pūrekireki Marae, on ANZAC day and the exhibition, ‘Ake, Ake, Ake’ that also honours these men is being held at Te Awamutu Museum until October 2015.