February 05, 2019
Mauri stone laid for 28 Māori Battalion museum
Mauri stones have been laid in the foundations of the new 28 Māori Battalion Museum in beside the Treaty Grounds at Waitangi.
The stones, which came from places around the motu of significance to the story of the battalion, were carried from the Whare Rūnanga to the side by a group which included Robert Gillies from B Company, one of the last surviving veterans.
Speaking at the ceremony Bernard Henare, the son of the Battalion’s last commander Sir James Henare, said it had the highest rate of casualties in the army but there were always reinforcements, with many young men lying about their age to join the war and get a chance to see the world beyond the narrow valleys hemming them in.
While Sir Apirana Ngata referred to the sacrifice as the price of citizenship, he said many of those who returned came back sacred physically or mentally, and many also asked whether anything had changed for Māori because of it.
The museum is due to open next year.
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