December 04, 2012
Mutual respect at the heart of Battalion
One of the organisers of last weekend's 28th Māori Battalion Association wind-up says Māori today can still learn from the old soldiers.
Twelve of the 15 surviving veterans paraded for the final muster, laying wraths on the national war memorial.
Matt Te Pou says the 3600 men who served in the battalion between 1939 and 1945 came from all walks of life and all iwi.
"They formed this collective on the run and you can see how the collective came through and is an example for use today where iwi can work together because sometimes we get so stubborn we can't see past our nose but we can work together. These guys showed us how to do it. The main reason the collective worked is they have so much respect for each other," he says.
While the association has wound up, members will still hold reunions, including one to be hosted early next year by Ngāti Tuwharetoa.
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