July 26, 2018
WWI chance for wāhine Māori leadership
The impact of World War 1 on families has been captured in a new audio visual exhibition opening today at The Great War Exhibition in Wellington.
The End of the War? looks at the war-time experiences of nine people – men and women, Māori and Pākeha, Pasifika and Asian – and explores the impact of their experiences through generations, 100 years on.
They include MP Maui Pōmare, who chaired the Māori Recruiting Board, and his wife Miria.
Their great granddaughter Miria Pomare says the exhibition fills her with regret and of pride at the way prominent Māori leaders like her ancestors as well as Apirana Ngata, Te Rangi Hīroa and others encouraged Māori participation.
Her namesake took it upon herself to inspire women to make a contribution by launching who the Māori Soldiers' Fund in 1915..
"She also instigated the establishment of over 70 committees around the country fronted by Māori women who were influential leaders in their own right so she really pioneered a generation of Maori female leaders who provided the support and I guess the comfort to soldiers overseas and when they returned home," Ms Pōmare says.
The End of the War? is created by Story Inc. and Dusk, and funded by the Lottery Grants Board.
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