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Supporting the men of Te Hokowhitu-a-Tū

Māori leader Sir Apirana Ngata fundraised for the men of the Māori Pioneer Battalion during the war, by establishing concert parties which toured the country performing and popularising waiata such as E pari rā and Pōkarekare āna which have remained enduring favourites today. 

The money raised from these concerts was used to set up a trust for the men of Te Hokowhitu-a-Tū (the Māori name for the Pioneer Battalion.) In this radio interview, Remi Morrison of Te Arawa, a member of the committee which administered the Māori Soldier’s Trust, explains how they purchased Hereheretau sheep and cattle station, to generate an ongoing income for supporting the returned veterans and their families.

Year:1917 (Recorded 1967)

Location:Wairoa, New Zealand

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Supporting the men of Te Hokowhitu-a-Tū

Māori leader Sir Apirana Ngata fundraised for the men of the Māori Pioneer Battalion during the war, by establishing concert parties which toured the country performing and popularising waiata such as E pari rā and Pōkarekare āna which have remained enduring favourites today. 

The money raised from these concerts was used to set up a trust for the men of Te Hokowhitu-a-Tū (the Māori name for the Pioneer Battalion.) In this radio interview, Remi Morrison of Te Arawa, a member of the committee which administered the Māori Soldier’s Trust, explains how they purchased Hereheretau sheep and cattle station, to generate an ongoing income for supporting the returned veterans and their families.


Year: 1917 (Recorded 1967)

Length: 0:03:04

Production Company: Radio New Zealand

Credits: Station 1YZ Rotorua

Source: Radio New Zealand Collection, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Catalogue Reference: 41285 John Craig interviews Remi Morrison


People: Thomas Remi Morrison, John Craig, Sir Apirana Ngata

Location: Wairoa, New Zealand

Tags: 1917, 1967, WWI, World War One, Māori Pioneer Battalion, Thomas Remi Morrison, John Craig, Sir Apirana Ngata, Hereheretau, Wairoa, Māori Soldiers Trust, veterans, Te Hokowhitu-a-Tū, waiata, New Zealand

Subject: 1917, 1967, WWI, World War One, Māori Pioneer Battalion, Sir Apirana Ngata, Hereheretau, Wairoa, Māori Soldiers Trust, Te Hokowhitu-a-Tū


Image Title: Māori Pioneer Battalion regimental badges. Auckland War Memorial Museum, ID4/194.

Image Source: http://media.api.aucklandmuseum.com/id/media/v/381668?rendering=original.jpg


The 1,800 hectares of Hereheretau Station near Wairoa was gifted to the Māori Soldiers Trust to support men returning from World War One. It took many years for the farm to become profitable, but today some of the profits from the award-winning farm are distributed in the form of educational grants and scholarships, to young people who are descendants of the World War One Māori veterans.

However, the original tribal owners of the land, the hapū of Whakakī Nui-a-Rua say that 100 years on, the veterans and their direct descendants have passed away and the Trust has served its purpose. They believe it is time to return the land to its original tribal owners.