September 06, 2016
War challenge inspires creativity
First hand experience gave a year 12 Ruatoria student the edge he needed to win the supreme award in this year’s 28th (Maori) Battalion essay competition.
Carlos Paenga from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Waiu o Ngati Porou had been on a school trip in 2014 to sites in Europe where the Maori Battalion fought.
Judges said he also drew on letters and personal accounts of soldiers to create an essay in te reo Maori that was perceptive, original and unique.
Entrants were asked to focus on Maori participation in the World War II Battle of Crete or the World War I Battle of the Somme.
Education Minister Hekia Parata, who chairs the Ngarimu VC and 28th (Maori) Battalion Memorial Scholarship Fund, says all this year’s winners set the bar high for next year.
"Every year we're trying as a Trust board to think of how do we appeal to our young people, how do we get them involved in the facts and the history of the Maori Battalion, why Maori might have participated in different campaigns on behalf of our country and what that enduring legacy is to our young people and to ourselves. This year's entrants have done that extremely well," says Minister Hekia Parata.
Te Aomihia Boyd from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o-Kawakawa-mai-Tawhiti in Hicks Bay was second in the senior Maori section.
All three prizes in the intermediate Maori section went to pupils from Te Waiuo Ngati Porou: Te Paea Dalton Reedy, Manaia Whangapirita Bishop and Miria Koia.
The senior English section was won by Tahuriwakanui Durie and Anaru Palmer from Tauranga Boys’ College with a video about the Crete campaign, with an artwork by Bella Rakete from Epsom Girls Grammar second and an essay by Shanice Wills from Craighead Diocesan School third.
The Intermediate English prize went to Cheyenne Lewis from Te Karaka Area School for her video Eyes of War, and the junior English prizes went to artworks by Kenza Taele and Grace Mc Sweeny from Tauranga Intermediate, Kyla Van Silfhout from Tauranga Intermediate and Susan Ra from Te Kapehu Whetu.
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