November 11, 2021
Armistice reminder of worlds pōrangirangi
Returned Services Associations and cenotaphs went silent at 11 this morning as New Zealanders marked Armistice Day and remembered those who died in the country’s wars.
Historian Tom Roa from Ngāti Maniapoto has written about those from Waikato Tainui and Maniapoto who went off to World War 1, despite it being within living memory of their whānau taking the British onslaught at battlefields across the Waikato.
He says some felt it was their duty because Maniapoto had signed the Treaty of Waitangi, some were young fellows who were keen to see the world, and some just wanted to fight.
When the war with Germany broke out, Māori King Te Rata was still in England after meeting with King George V.
“He did write in his diary, ‘he pōrangirangi te ao Pākehā,’ the Pākehā world is in distress – pōrangirangi, it has gone crazy – and that was what his impressions of England were at the very time troops were mobilising,” Associate Professor Roa says.