Second Maori War - History

Second Maori War - History

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Second Maori War
The Second Maori war was fought from 1860-1872 between British colonist and native New Zealanders on the North Island. At the end of the largely guerilla war the natives were granted half the island.

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Locating Māori combatants from the Second World War

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Māori Battalion, march to victory … However, when entering metadata for Auckland Weekly News subject headings one of the first things to remember is that Māori combatants in the Second World War were not necessarily members of the 28th Māori Battalion. There were Māori soldiers in other battalions or army units, Māori airmen in the Royal New Zealand Air Force and Māori sailors in the Royal New Zealand Navy (although I have only finished from 1939 to 1942 so far and have not come across any Māori sailors in the Roll of Honour yet and the war is still a work in progress!). Using a few servicemen, here are some examples of the way we can find extra information about Māori combatants from the Auckland War Memorial Museum’s Cenotaph Database and the battalion roll on the 28th Māori Battalion website.

The 1942 Roll of Honour contains three Māori airmen. The first we come across is Sergeant Herbert Samuel (or Bert Sam) Wipiti. Before the war Bert was a junior refrigeration technician in New Plymouth. He won the Distinguished Flying Medal for distinguished courage in aerial combat over Singapore. Sadly, after being promoted to Warrant Officer he was killed when his Spitfire was shot down off coastal France on 3 October 1943. It seems his body was never recovered but he is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial and at Biggin Hill Chapel of Remembrance in England.

Blyth Kempton-Werohia was the son of Mr Whetu Henare Kempton-Werohia and Mrs Margery Dinah Kempton-Werohia from Te Puke. After basic flying training in New Zealand, Sergeant Kempton-Werohia was sent to Bombing and Gunnery School in Ontario, Canada. Tragically, he was killed in a training accident and was buried at Beechwood Cemetery in Ontario.

Flying Officer Kingi Te Aho Aho Gilling Tahiwi was of Ngāti Raukawa descent and came from Ōtaki, near Wellington. Kingi was a Wellington radio announcer before he joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force. After training and being sent overseas, his RAF squadron was sent to the Mediterranean, where he flew during the North African campaign. Flying Officer Kingi Tahiwi was shot down and killed during the Battle of El Alamein and he is commemorated on the Alamein Memorial in the El Alamein War Cemetery.

Unfortunately the Weekly News Roll of Honour only gives the name, rank and birthplace for each serviceman his battalion or unit is not recorded. Without any unit information, the chosen way to describe a soldier with a Māori surname or clearly identifiable facial features is to use the subject heading ‘World War, 1939-1945 – Participation, Māori.’ However, one database that does help track down the units that soldiers belonged to is the Auckland War Memorial Museum’s Cenotaph Database. If soldiers can clearly be identified from this as members of the 28th Māori Battalion, we have used the subject heading ‘New Zealand. Army. Battalion, 28’ as part of their description.

While the majority of the Māori servicemen in the 1942 Roll of Honour came from the 28th Māori Battalion, there were a few exceptions. In this case, where battalions or units were known these soldiers were described with the subject headings: New Zealand. Army. Battalion [and then their battalion number].

For instance, Private Frederick George Palmer was the son of Robert and Mare Palmer of Kahutara, Wellington. Before the war he was employed as a linesman on the Mangaonoho Hydro Works near Whanganui. After enlistment, Private Palmer became a member of the 25th (Wellington) Battalion. He was killed on 23 November 1941 during the Battle of Sidi Rezegh.

Second Lieutenant Colin Ormsby McGruther was of Tainui and Ngāti Maniapoto descent and came from Pirongia, where he was a farmhand. He was rapidly promoted during training, and on embarkation from New Zealand he was a sergeant in the 18th.(Auckland, Bay of Plenty and Waikato) Battalion. Remaining with the battalion, Colin was promoted to second lieutenant. He was wounded sometime about October 1942, probably during the Battle of El Alamein. When the battalion was converted into the 18th Armoured Regiment in October 1943, Colin became a tank commander. Luckily, he survived the war and the New Zealand Gazette recorded that he was a major when he was placed on the army’s retired list in February 1958.

John Russell Hayward was the son of Cecil Hayward and Elizabeth Raureti Mokonniarangi (possibly Raureti Mokonuiarangi) from Rotorua. John identified as Māori. Before the war he worked as a clerk. After training he was posted to 20th (Canterbury) Battalion and had been promoted to Lance Sergeant when he was killed during the Battle of Sidi Rezegh on 27 November 1941. He was buried in the Knightsbridge War cemetery at Acroma, Libya.

Sergeant Robert Gordon Aro came from Ponsonby, Auckland. He was a fitter and turner before he enlisted. After training he was posted to the New Zealand Army Service Corps because of his skills maintaining vehicles. Sergeant Aro won his Military Medal for saving most of the trucks under his command when they were attacked by enemy tanks on 25 November 1941 during the Battle of Sidi Rezegh.

The other soldiers written about here are clearly identified by the Cenotaph Database as belonging to the 28th Māori Battalion. However please note that soldiers’ names were often spelled incorrectly in the Roll of Honour. It seems that Defence Department officials could not be bothered to check the correct form or spelling of Māori names. When casualty lists were passed to the Weekly News for publication, they were assumed correct and not questioned. Thus mistakes were repeated without checking. In this casual way Private Manu Kuru Te Rore’s name was incorrectly rendered as ‘Private M.K. Terore.’ Private Te Rore came from Kaihu, near Dargaville. Before the war he was a farmer. After training he was posted to the 28th Māori Battalion. Private Te Rore was killed on 23 November 1941 and is remembered on the Alamein Memorial.

Another soldier to have his name misspelt was Private Natanahira Wiwarena, whose name was rendered as ‘Private N. Waiwarena.’ Natanahira was of Te Arawa descent and came from Whakarewarewa. Prior to enlistment he was a labourer. After training he was posted to the 28th Māori Battalion and served in the Western Desert. Private Wiwarena was killed on 26 August 1942, probably in the closing stages of the First Battle of El Alamein. He was buried in the El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt.

Private Rawiri Ngatoro was also known as Dave Ngatoro. However the Weekly News caption for his photograph recorded his name as ‘Private R. Ngatora.’ Rawiri came from Te Araroa and prior to enlistment he was a labourer. After training he was posted to join the 28th Māori Battalion in the Western Desert. The Cenotaph Database does not have much more information about him, but according to the Weekly News Private Ngatoro was accidentally killed in early 1942.

In some Roll of Honour captions, Māori names were omitted altogether. Private Robert Aperahama Oliphant Stewart was recorded as just ‘Private Robert Oliphant Stewart.’ Even the memorial inscription in the Auckland War Memorial Museum’s Hall of Memory simply records him as R.O. Stewart. Robert claimed descent from the Mataatua waka, and he came from Whakatane where he was a printer prior to enlistment. He belonged to the 28th Māori Battalion and was killed on 16 December 1941 during Operation Crusader. He is remembered on the Alamein Memorial.

An even more glaring error was committed (or transposed) for the unfortunate soldier recorded as Private K.P. Wirlpo ignorance of the Māori language, or just bad printing? When I searched the Cenotaph Database it could not find such a name, or even someone named K.P. Wiripo. Fortunately the Cenotaph Database search can be customised, so I searched all casualties for his hometown, Herekino. This found Kupu Penewiripo. And interestingly, his parents were listed on the Cenotaph Database as Mr Pene Wiripo and Mrs Ere Pene Wiripo. The 28th Māori Battalion Roll confirmed that he did enlist as Kupu Penewiripo, but also showed he was later recorded in the battalion’s War Diary as Private Kupu Pene Wiripo. Kupu was a labourer prior to enlistment. After training he was posted to the 28th Māori Battalion. Sadly, the War Diary recorded that Private Pene Wiripo accidentally shot himself on 12 November 1942 and a Court of Enquiry concluded that he died by misadventure. The official history of the 28th Māori Battalion recorded that he died on active service. Kupu Pene Wiripo was buried at the Halfaya Sollum Cemetery in Egypt.

Second Lieutenant Pineāmine Taiapa (Ngāti Porou) is more well-known as a Māori artist and master carver than for his military career. Raised by his uncle, Pineāmine was educated in matauranga Māori and attended Te Aute College. He became a Māori All Black and played during their 1922 tour of Australia before starting to learn to carve, first at home in Tikitiki and then at the newly established School of Māori Arts in Rotorua. By the Second World War he had already worked on many meeting houses across Aotearoa, including the centennial house at Waitangi. As a Māori leader he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 28th Maori Battalion but was wounded on 15 December 1941 in fighting during Operation Crusader. He returned to the battalion and was promoted captain in October 1942. After the war he worked as a rehabilitation officer before returning to his work as a renowned master-carver, playing a major role in Māori cultural rejuvenation.

Lieutenant Colonel Eruera Te Whiti o Rongomai Love was the first Māori officer to command the 28th Māori Battalion. Lieutenant Colonel Love was also known as Eruera Te Whiti Rongomai, Tiwi or Tui. Eruera was of Te Āti Awa descent and he came from Petone. Before the war he worked as an interpreter. He was also a territorial and was a company commander in the 1st Battalion of the City of Wellington Regiment. He was transferred to Army Headquarters to help form the Māori Battalion. In 1940 he joined the battalion as a captain. He was mentioned in despatches, for capably handling the Māori Battalion as its temporary commander in November and December 1941. Subsequently on 13 May 1942 he became the first Māori officer promoted to command of the battalion. However Lieutenant Colonel Love was killed on 12 July 1942 during the First Battle of El Alamein. He was buried in the El Alamein War Cemetery.

The Land of the Long White Cloud

As Maori legend tells it, Kupe and his crew from Hawaiki were the first to find New Zealand. After difficulty fishing near their homeland, Kupe used nifty navigational skills to find new land using the ocean currents, wind, stars, birds and wave patterns.

It is said that Kupe’swife Kuramarotini gave New Zealand its first name, Aotearoa, meaning”land of the long white cloud”. Kupe and crew explored parts of the North Island and Cook Strait (between the North and South Island). Hokianga in Northland was the first place to be named.

© Public Domain

World War Two 1939-1945

We hold a great variety of records of New Zealand participation in the Second World War. Most are Army records, but there are also some Air Force (RNZAF) and Navy (RNZN) records.

Access to some Second World War records can be gained through the War History Branch card index in the Register Room, Wellington. For detailed listings of the WW2 War Archives see Volumes 3, 4 and 5 in Volumes 3, 4 and 5 in Agency note for ADQZ.

For detailed official accounts see the Official War Histories published by the War History Branch online at NZ Electronic Text Collection.

Although New Zealand was less prepared for the Second World War than for the First, by mid-1940 some 20,000 men had embarked for overseas service with the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2 NZEF). They went first to the Middle East, Greece and Britain. Later many were also to fight in North Africa and Italy.

New Zealand first sent troops into the Pacific, to Fiji, in November 1940. After war was declared against Japan in December 1941, many more troops were sent into the Pacific, though some were later transferred to Italy.

The Home Guard in New Zealand was an important force until the threat from Japan eased in late 1943.

A total of about 105,000 men and women from New Zealand served overseas during the Second World War. Of those nearly 7000 died on active Army service and a total of over 11,000 in all services. Nearly 16,000 were wounded as well. Casualties were a much smaller proportion of service men and women than in the First World War.

WW2 personnel files are held at the New Zealand Defence Force Personnel Archive and not with us. You can contact them to gain access.

(Enemy) during the Second World War see our Citizenship research guide.

VC and other bravery awards AAYS 8665 records 1 – 93 and AALJ 18806

Rolls & Citations ADQZ 18886 records with prefix DA 409

Files on specific awards to New Zealanders, including decorations given by other governments. AAYS 8638 subseries 248/ & 323/

Nominal list: ‘Unclaimed commemorative scrolls for those who died on Active Service’ AAYS 20193

Merchant Navy War Medal Card Index ABPL 7461 boxes 47-49

Most of these WW2 files are found in the records of the National Service Department (Special Tribunal and Appeal Board records) and Labour Department District Offices (Conscientious Objector files). Note: the term ‘Conscientious Objector’ applies to both military service and to Trade Union membership

National Service Department- District offices - Restricted.

Special Tribunal Appeal Registers (Auckland) AEJC 19018

Personal Files (Christchurch) AEJH 18946

Appeals Registers etc. (Dunedin) AEJI 18953

Personal Files (Lower Hutt) AEJF 18947

Personal Files (Wellington) AEJG 18952

Army and Labour Departments (Access restrictions may apply)

Discipline, detention, imprisonment, deserters (most general some individual) AAYS 8638 subseries 310/ boxes 1290-1292

Conscientious Objectors − Military training ACGV 8823

Courts Martial 1916-1987 Restricted(WW2 files are not publicly listed on Archway) ABOO 25419

The New Zealand Home Guard existed from mid-1940. Instituted as part of the Army in August 1941, it was formalised in early 1942, and was wound down in later 1943. At its peak it involved some 123,000 men. Some records, but no full rolls, are held.

Various files, mostly administration AAYS 8638 subseries 281/ & 304/

Appointment to Commissions, Rolls of Officers, etc. ADQZ 18899 subseries 13/7/ and 13/12/

Civilian Narratives – including Home Guard AAQZ 18912 subseries 21/.

Two books about the Home Guard:

Nancy Taylor The Home Front 1986, Vol.1

Peter Cooke Defending New Zealand 2000, Vol.2.

Personnel Files (so-called ‘Duplicate Files’ are supplementary to the originals still held by NZDF Archives - Restricted. ABFK 18805 Accession W3629

Unit Diaries ADQZ 18886 records DA 68/1/7 – DA 68/1/73: use WAII card indexes in Register Room to identify specific date range for each diary.

posthumous award of VC - ACGO 8333 records 171/70/4, 171/70/5

Other material on the 28th Maori Battalion is with Māori Affairs, External Affairs and Army Departments files.

WW2 maps from the Second World War Archives ADQZ (formerly WAII)

Major series of maps ADQZ 18904. See also Volume 5 at Agency ADQZ description

Plans from Dr. Douglas Kennedy PACB 7375 (similar to some in ADQZ 18904 but not identical)

Italy & North Africa (74 maps) PACB 7375

El Alamein, Monte Cassino & Field Medical Service PACB 7376

Allied garrison at Tobruk AABK W4471 part 1

In the Index Cards maps can also be located through the heading ‘Maps’ or a place name in the system (see above). Unit records also hold maps. See also published works on the Official War Histories.

Most medical records of the 2 NZEF, including official reports, Operational Unit records, Medical Narratives and Medical Unit Diaries, have been collected into one archive series. ADQZ 18903

Rolls usually include: name, number, rank, occupation, unit, conjugal status, place of enlistment, last New Zealand address, name & address of next-of-kin. Some are organised by Brigade or similar level unit. See records for the relevant date range in AAYS 8657

Embarkation rolls may be found elsewhere in several departments’ records.

Nominal Rolls – 2NZEF 1940-1942 AAYO W3120 box 1 parts 2 - 9

ADQZ 18886 Embarkation Roll for keyword

Soldiers Returning from Overseas 1940-1941 – Nominal Rolls ADBO 16141 record 11/6/14 Restricted.

The Card index in the register room in Wellington, provides a detailed chronology of embarkation and disembarkation.

WW2 and J-Force (in Japan 1946-1948): mainly unit histories and administrative files, but some files include details of individual nurses. AAYS 8682 items 33-41

Two major series of Second World War (Pacific) photographs:

Official photographs taken by RNZAF photographers in NZ and the Pacific. ADQA 17263 albums and photographs

Semi-official and private photographs, Pacific: mostly army (2 NZEF) but also some Navy (RNZ) ADQZ 18905

Smaller collections include:

Māori in armed forces (includes Māori Battalion, Vietnam & Singapore) AAMK W3495 items 23f- 23q]

Women at War AAUR W3263 box 1 item a

Works Department Official War History

List of photos ADQZ 18912 record 128 part 1 (also copied as Appendix L in Army Dept. list ARNZ 22499 record AD part 6)

Photographs ADQZ 18912 record 128 parts 1, 2, 3 & 4

NZ Patriotic Fund Board – Photographs: WW2 & after AAYO 25284

Photographs can also be found through the Second World War subject card index in Wellington.

Other institutions, such as the Alexander Turnbull Library and service museums, hold significant collections of Second World War photographs.

For more information on finding photographs in our archives see our Photography research guide .

Records relating to people who were Prisoners of War (POW) or Civilian Internees overseas.

Prisoner of War section – London ADQZ 18899 box 21

Questionnaires filled in 1947 by ex-prisoners of war and ex-internees. ADQZ 18902 boxes 50-53

Casualties: Prisoners of War in enemy hands AAYS 8638 subseries 339/

Evacuation (includes Prisoners of War) AAYS 8638 subseries 357

NZ Missing & POW Agency Civilian Internees (including merchant seamen) Card Index 1939-1945 AAYS 8666 item 41

Allied Prisoners of War and Civilians in Enemy Territory ACIE 8798 subseries 88

Civilian Internees & evacuees ACGO 8333 subseries 171

Major Kippenberger’s Personal Files 1945-1954: ex-prisoners of war April 1949 to November 1950 ACGO 8399 box/item 2/9

2 NZEF members reported missing and prisoners of war 1941-1957 ADBO 16141 record 11/6/21

Grants to New Zealand ex-prisoners of war ADBO 16141 record 11/6/38

Prisoner of War Camp - Featherston ADQZ 18899 boxes 22-26

Internment Camp - Somes Island 1939-1945 ADQZ 18899 boxes 27-33

For several relevant files, see 8798 subseries 87/ and subseries 89/.

Our holdings are limited. They include:

Former Servicemen’s Rehabilitation files listed by name. Restricted. AADK 20203

Some servicemen suffering from shell-shock, etc. spent time in the Queen Mary Hospital, Hanmer Springs. See Guide: Mental Health.

Minutes and Correspondence of the Rehabilitation Board AATK and the Rehabilitation Dept. AATL provide some information regarding rehabilitation.

Pensions and other payments and assistance for personnel who returned to New Zealand, Niue, Rarotonga, and adjacent islands ADBO 16141 subseries 11/.

The War History Branch card catalogue, located in the Wellington Reading Room, provides an excellent means of accessing Second World War and J-Force (Japan) records by subject.

Unit diaries of the 2 NZEF were collected to provide material for New Zealand’s Official War Histories. These Diaries are listed under Unit name. See a list in Volumes 4 and 5 of the ADQZ agency description.

Each diary usually covers a calendar month. Some are available on microfilm. It may be necessary to use WAII card indexes in the Register Room to identify specific date range for each diary.

Middle East and New East Unit Diaries ADQZ 18886 records DA 1 to DA 397

Pacific Unit Diaries ADQZ 18886 records DAZ 1 to DAZ 543

Medical and Hospital Unit Diaries with other material ADQZ 18903

Two card indexes for graves of WW2 service personnel

War Graves Index of Servicemen who died overseas: arranged by place of burial but there is an index to these records. AAAC 17726

Non-War Graves Index of deceased ex-service personnel (alphabetically) AAAC 21829

Other relevant records are:

War Graves (various formats) ACGO 8398

War Graves, monuments, etc. ACGO 8333 subseries 7/

War Pensions and War Veterans Application, Bursaries, Funeral Grants, Registers etc. AADK 7916 Restricted.

Family History

The National Army Museum provides a place where families can seek out and research information about New Zealand veterans and family members who served in the armed forces. We offer a great starting point to begin your journey of discovery.

If necessary, our staff can help you locate the following information: regimental number, rank, unit, place of enlistment, occupation, last NZ address, and the name and address of next-of-kin. Please note there is a research charge of $5 for this service. You will need this information when requesting a copy of a service personnel record.

For service personnel records prior to 1920 contact Archives NZ, and for all records from 1920 onwards contact NZDF Personnel Archives.

Once you have a copy of the soldier’s service record, we can provide recommended reading and assist you with any further research on military operations, movements, campaigns, dates, maps and so on – relating to the unit your soldier fought with.

We also have available nominal rolls that list all the soldiers who embarked for active service overseas rolls of honour and medal rolls.

Nominal Rolls

  • Imperial
  • Boer War
  • WWI
  • WWII
  • Post WWII (Korea, Vietnam, East Timor)

Rolls of Honour

  • WWI
  • WWII
  • Korea
  • Malaya
  • Vietnam
  • Note the Official Regimental Histories include Rolls of Honour

The National Army Museum has its own roll of honour for all forces (Army, Navy, Air Force and Merchant Navy) called Tears on Greenstone and is located within the museum. The Tears on Greenstone Memorial Certificate is available for purchase.

Medal Rolls


WWI and WWII roll of honour:

WWII regimental and campaign histories:

Other Useful Sites

“We will remember them. Your journey starts here.”

Find fellow New Zealand veterans and research your family’s military history at the National Army Museum.

Corner State Highway One
and Hassett Drive
Waiouru, New Zealand

Second World War and its impact, 1939-1948

General Smuts signing the agreement at the first meeting of the UN General Assembly. Source: P. Joyce (2000), Suid-Afrika in die 20ste eeu Kaapstad: Struik, p.107.

In September 1939, World War II broke out. In South Africa, people were divided as to whether or not they should join the war, and if so, on whose side they should fight. Although South Africa was still a British territory many Afrikaners felt closer to the Germans. Many of them were of German descent and identified with Germany's fight against Britain. The issue caused a split in South African politics. At that point, the country was led by the United Party, a coalition of the National Party (NP) of J B M Hertzog and the South African Party (SAP) of J C Smuts. Hertzog preferred that South Africa remain neutral in World War Two, while Smuts wanted to fight on the side of the Allies. Hertzog resigned as Prime Minister of the country, and was succeeded by Smuts. South Africa then joined the war on the Allies' side, and fought major battles in North Africa, Ethiopia, Madagascar and Italy.

At the time of the coalition, a group within the National Party, opposed to the United Party, broke away from the NP. They formed the Reunited National Party or Herenigde Nationale Party (HNP) led by DF Malan. When Hertzog left the United Party in 1939, he joined the HNP. This party would play an enormous role after the War.

Post-war problems

The war had a huge social and economic effect on South Africa. Gold and mining remained the biggest industry in the country, but manufacturing had begun to expand significantly as a result of the war and the need for various supplies. The number of people employed in the manufacturing industry, especially Black men and White women increased by 60% between 1939 and 1945.

The financial costs of the war were met by taxes and loans. The cost of the war effort was approximately around 600 million pounds. At the end of the war South Africa experienced supply shortages as a result of the return of thousands of soldiers. After the war, the ruling party, the United Party (UP) under Smuts, lost a lot of support. People believed that it was incapable of dealing with the post-war problems. Many white people felt that Smuts lacked a clear policy on how to deal with black people and segregation.

Resistance and campaigns

The 1940s in South Africa were characterised by political and social resistance campaigns. These were spearheaded by Blacks, Indians and Coloureds. The various campaigns are mentioned below, but not mentioned, and of significance was the formation of the Non-European Unity Movement (NEUM), which was launched in 1943.

Changes within the ANC and the formation of the ANCYL

Alfred Xuma was elected the new president of the ANC in 1940 ©

In the face of oppression, liberation movements such as the African National Congress, Communist Party of South Africa and labour organisations emerged in opposition to the white government, but the question then arose: Were all liberation movements well equipped to challenge the government and its repressive laws? Although the African National Congress took the leading role in the struggle, it had suffered internal problems and becoming stagnant.

However, in 1940, Dr Alfred Xuma was elected President of the ANC and he begun to rejuvenate the organization. Xuma gave the go ahead for the formation of the ANC Youth League, when young members like Anton Lembede, Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela called for the immediate revival of the party if it hoped to deliver the African majority into a free land. These young members felt that the ANC was far too moderate and ineffective to challenge the government. As a result of the mounting pressure from

these young members in the ANC, the Congress Youth League was formed in 1944. The ANC Youth League added impetus to the ANC. The Youth League wanted a more proactive approach to be adopted. These changes stimulated a shift in tactics and a stronger articulation of African identities and demands, evident in the ANC’s 1943 Africans’ Claims, an African Bill of Rights that was inspired in part by the Atlantic Charter.

Challenges, against the government, also came from the Women's section of the ANC in the 1940s. In 1943, women were allowed to become full ANC members. In 1948, the ANC Women's League was formed under the leadership of Ida Mntwana. Apart from the ANC Women's League, other community-based organisations like the Alexandra Women's Council were set up.

Alexander Bus Boycotts

The first campaign in the 1940s took place in Alexandra Township. There were two bus boycotts in Alexandra, in 1940 and 1944. The residents of Alexandra responded positively to the call by their leaders after several threats were made by the bus company operating in the township to raise its fares from 4 pence to 5 pence. These boycotts spilled over into other parts of the country.

There are a number of reasons for these resistance campaigns. People lived under very poor socio-economic conditions. Unemployment and poverty levels were very high in Alexandra and the people reacted angrily to the bus company's proposed new fares. The residents simply could not afford the higher fares. Committees such as the Alexandra People's Transport Committee (APTC) and the Evaton People's Transport Council (EPTC) were set up to engage in talks with the bus company's management and organise the campaigns. Apart from these committees, the African National Congress (ANC) and Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA) played a pivotal role in the mobilisation process, and the most prominent leaders of these campaigns were Alexandra C.S. Ramahanoe (ANC) and Gaur Radebe (CPSA and ANC), who were both on the Transport Committee.

Another reason for the dissatisfaction of Alexandra commuters was the unavailability of cheaper alternative transport to get to work. They felt that the bus company's intentions were tantamount to preventing them from going to work, as they could not afford the new prices. When the situation grew worse the government and other business institutions like the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce became involved and attempted to remedy the situation.

These campaigns received support from other parts of the country and more than 20 000 people rallied behind the protests. As a result the bus company was unable to implement its envisaged fare hike.

The 1946 Indian Passive Resistance Campaign

Dr GM Naicker, President of the Natal Indian Congress, addresses a Passive Resistance rally on 26 June 1946. © Mayibuye Archives, scanned from photocopy

Following the bus boycotts, the Indian community launched a Passive Resistance campaign from 1946 to 1948. The campaign was in reaction to the introduction of the Asiatic Land Tenure and Indian Representation Bill, later the Ghetto Act. The Bill was enacted despite the opposition of the Indian community. The Natal Indian Congress and Transvaal Indian Congress reacted to this arrogance by setting up a Passive Resistance Council to organise the campaign. The Council comprised of Dr Naicker, President of Natal Indian Congress, and Dr Yusuf Dadoo, President of Transvaal Indian Congress.

The resistance was launched on 13 June 1946, ten days after the Bill was passed into law. This campaign received sympathetic support from the international community. At an international level, the United Nations served as a platform for the Indian community at large to raise their objection to the Act and other similarly repressive laws. Many African countries and liberation movements in South Africa used this platform to raise their objections to apartheid. As a result, race surfaced as an international issue.

The 1946 African Mine Workers Strike

Mineworkers on strike 1946 © Museum Africa

The number of African people living in towns nearly doubled in the 1940s, eventually outnumbering White residents. Most of these migrant workers had to live in shantytowns or townships on the outskirts of the cities, and living and working conditions were appalling. Many new trade unions were born during the 1940’s. As a result, workers wanted higher wages and better working conditions. By 1946, there were 119 unions with about 158 000 members demanding to be heard. The African Mineworkers Union (AMWU) went on strike in 1946 and 60 000 men stopped work in demanding higher pay. The police crushed the protest, shooting 12 people dead, but the workers had achieved their purpose in exposing and challenging the system of cheap labour.

State repression and the build up to the 1948 election

In 1947, the Native Representative Council (NRC) demanded the removal of all discriminatory laws. Little did the NRC know that after the 1948 elections, these laws would become even more discriminatory under the policy of Apartheid.

The UP based its 1948 election campaign on a report by the Natives Law or Fagan Commission. It was appointed in 1947 to look into Pass Laws to control the movement of African people in urban areas.

The Fagan Commission reported that "the trend to urbanisation is irreversible and the Pass Laws should be eased". The Commission said it would be unlikely that black people could be prevented from coming to the cities where there were more jobs. They depended on this to survive as the reserves in the rural areas where they were supposed to live held few options for a livelihood. In other words, total segregation would be impossible. The report did not encourage social or political mingling of races but did suggest that urban labour should be stabilised, as workers were needed for industries and other businesses.

Contrary to this, the HNP felt that complete segregation could be achieved. They encouraged the creation of a migrant labour pool with black people being allowed temporary stays in cities for the purpose of work only. In this way, there would be a cheap labour reservoir for industries without black families actually living in towns. The HNP also supported the existence of political organisations within the African reserves, so long as they had no representation in parliament. Malan called for discriminatory legislation, like the prohibition of mixed marriages, the banning of black trade unions and reserving jobs for white people, further oppressing black people.


It had long been felt in New Zealand that the four volume 'popular' history of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force after the First World War had not matched the standard set by the Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918, edited by Charles Bean. In 1940, with a view to the production of an official history of New Zealand's contributions to the Second World War, an archivist was appointed to the headquarters of the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF) to ensure the preservation of important documentation and records. Ώ] He was joined by Eric McCormick, a published literary and art historian, in 1941. ΐ] After he became aware of the progress made on the Australian official history, McCormick pushed for progress on New Zealand's own efforts in this regard. By 1944, the New Zealand government had decided to appoint an Official Historian who would be Editor-in-Chief of an official history which would not only cover the military contribution to the war effort, but also the efforts of the New Zealand people. Ώ]

McCormick was recalled to New Zealand from 2NZEF headquarters and appointed Official War Archivist. He set about collecting and cataloging documents necessary for the official history. To produce the official history, an appropriate organisation was required Ώ] and accordingly the War History Branch (later to become the Historical Publications Branch) of the Department of Internal Affairs was established in 1945. McCormick would run the War History Branch until an Editor-in-Chief was appointed. Α]

To head up the War History Branch, Major General Howard Kippenberger was approached in April 1945. A former commander of the 2nd New Zealand Division, he had been identified the previous year by New Zealand's prime minister, Peter Fraser, as being the ideal candidate for the position. Kippenberger, a keen student of military history, was working in England on the repatriation of former prisoners of war to New Zealand when the position was first offered. Although he accepted the offer, he did not return to New Zealand to start work on his new role until mid 1946. Β]

Māori in the First World War

The 1902 Māori Coronation Contingent asked Premier Richard Seddon to present their address to the new king concerning equal rights and the British refusal to allow indigenous troops to fight in South Africa. (Wairoa District Museum, 96/115/83)

This extract from Monty Soutar’s new book Whitiki! Whiti! Whiti! E! Māori in the First World War focuses on the New Zealand that Māori knew when war broke out in 1914. It begins with this edited foreword by the former Governor-General, Sir Jerry Matepaere:

Monty Soutar’s Whitiki! Whiti! Whiti! E! helps to tell the story, and the stories of the men, of the Māori Contingent at Gallipoli and the Māori (Pioneer) Battalion on the Western Front. As the saying goes: “It wasn’t all beer and skittles”, although there was some of that.

In all, 2227 Māori and 458 Pacific Islanders served with the battalion. Of those, 336 men were killed or died overseas, and a further 24 died in New Zealand of injuries sustained during the war.

It is stating the obvious to observe that New Zealand in 1914 was significantly different from contemporary New Zealand — technologically, socially, culturally and attitudinally. Good, sad and appalling things had occurred since the signing of the Treaty of Waitingi in 1840.

When war was declared in August 1914, it was only four months since veterans of the last major battle in the Waikato campaign had gathered at Ōrākau to commemorate its 50th anniversary.

There had been many other battles and transgressions and so, although some iwi were keen to support the momentum of “the Empire to the rescue”, some were opposed to sending their young men to fight in a European war. Nevertheless, there was a groundswell of support, and young Māori men keen to join for the fight enlisted, with the first 500 departing for the Middle East in February 1915.

Coming from warrior traditions, much was expected of the young men. The book traces the experiences of the Māori contingents through Egypt, Malta and Gallipoli to Europe, and finally their homecoming in April 1919.

After the Gallipoli campaign, and with doubts that Māori could sustain a frontline battalion, it was decided that the Māori contingent would be redesignated as a Pioneer battalion. In some quarters, the term “pioneer” has been associated with second-class soldiering. This book shows clearly that that was not the case — three Distinguished Service Orders, nine Military Crosses, four Distinguished Conduct Medals, 29 Military Medals and 39 mentions in despatches attest to that.

From the spine-chilling haka the contingent performed before it went into its first fight below Chunuk Bair in 1915, to the Māori soldier who defied orders and was among the first to enter Le Quesnoy in November 1918, these men set the standard for Māori and Pākehā alike, and especially for their sons and nephews, who would carry their mantle into the Second World War.

This book is part of the First World War Centenary History series produced jointly by Manatū Taonga (the Ministry for Culture and Heritage), Massey University and the New Zealand Defence Force. The publications cover the major campaigns in Europe and the Middle East, New Zealanders’ contributions in the air and at sea, the experiences of soldiers at the front and civilians at home, the Māori war effort, and the war’s impact and legacy.

Monty Soutar’s Whitiki! tells the story of Māori and Pākehā, and of Cook Islanders, Niueans, Fijians, Sāmoans and Tongans, transported to unfamiliar climes and locations. It is a story of elation and despair of candour, evidenced in the words of the men — much of it expressed in their first language, Māori and of their courage, commitment and comradeship. The disdain of Māori women denied the right to fight alongside their menfolk, as they had done in previous wars, is a reminder of different norms in different eras. This book adds much to our knowledge of our place in the world.

GNZM, QSO, Governor-General of New Zealand (2011–2016),

King Te Rata Mahuta, Tupu Taingakawa (the king’s tumuaki/spokesman), Hori Paora, and Mita Karaka in 1914. They left New Zealand in April, witnessed the proclamation of war in London and returned to Auckland in September. (Auckland War Memorial Museum / Tamaki Paenga Hira, GN672-1n18.)

The Outbreak of War

A four-man delegation led by King Te Rata Mahuta of Waikato was in London when the United Kingdom declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914. The party had visited Buckingham Palace to present King George V with a petition asking for the restoration of lands confiscated from Māori.

They were waiting for a ship home when London seemed to go mad. At Charing Cross station they watched women and children crying as trains full of Frenchmen left for home to fight, while in the street below their hotel balcony, 10,000 London Scots volunteers marched to camp. The might of the British Empire and the speed with which it could mobilise its forces was abundantly evident.

Just weeks earlier, few people in the United Kingdom had anticipated war, especially as the British had not been involved in a conflict in Europe since the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo almost a century earlier.

In New Zealand, there was a feeling that war was possible, but no one expected it so soon. The public learned of it on the afternoon of 5 August. In Parliament, Prime Minister W.F. (Bill) Massey expressed confidence that he could secure “tomorrow … thousands of young fellows of the Native race … anxious to fight for the country and the Empire.”

But was this the case? The internal wars of the 1860s, the subsequent land confiscations and the invasion of Parihaka in 1881 remained fresh in the memories of many Māori. Had the resulting resentments subsided sufficiently for their youth to volunteer enthusiastically?

Trainee Ngāpuhi nurses who travelled long distances on horseback to treat the sick. Their uniforms resembled those of the mounted troopers in South Africa. Descendants of well-known Ngāpuhi chiefs, the nurses are back (left to right): Sgt A. Calkin, Bugler M. Kaire. Front: Sgt-Maj. C. Calkin, Capt. Kingi and Lt G. Waetford.

Life in 1914

Like other New Zealanders, most Māori began 1914 more absorbed with the Auckland Exhibition — a world’s fair held over the summer in the Domain — than with political developments in Europe. Twelve boys of Te Kao Native School captured the headlines when they walked with their headmaster the 325 miles from their Far North village to see the exhibition.

Māori interested in sport were following the progress of the touring Australian cricket team, which played its first game in Hamilton. A smallpox epidemic was still of concern to Māori in Northland and Waikato, where 30 had died — especially as they could only travel by train if issued a pass by the Public Health Department.

Kīngitanga iwi were involved with the annual Māori regatta on the Waikato River that had been combined with the New Zealand rowing championships. They had also become peripherally associated with the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Ōrākau, which a Pākehā committee was organising.

Ngāi Te Rangi were working with the Tauranga Borough Council to plan the unveiling of a monument to their rangātira (chief), Rawiri Puhirake. While most Māori Anglicans on the eastern seaboard were focused on the election of a new bishop for the Waiapu diocese, Ngāti Porou were at Papawai mourning the loss of their chief Tuta Nihoniho. Ngāti Huia were preparing to open the whare tīpuna (ancestral house) Tama-te-hura at Ōtaki.

While New Zealand had been elevated from a colony to a dominion of the British Empire in 1907, it was still obliged to follow Britain into war. Its symbols of nationhood — a flag (1902) and a Coat of Arms (1911) — were still relatively new, and patriotic functions usually took place under the Union Jack rather than the Southern Cross.

The currency was British pounds, shillings and pence. Fridges, freezers, dryers and flush toilets were conveniences of the future. There was no junk food or plastic, and cardboard was still a novelty. Most families used firewood to heat their stoves for cooking, while candles or oil lamps illuminated their dwellings at night.

With its suburbs, Auckland had a population of 100,000 and was the country’s main industrial centre and its largest city. The next biggest towns in the northern half of the North Island were Gisborne, with just over 8000 people, and the mining town of Waihi (nearly 6500). Very few Māori lived in these centres the great majority were still rural dwellers.

Since the completion of the Main Trunk Line in 1908, the journey from Wellington to Auckland could be made by train in eighteen hours. Travel beyond the rail network was more arduous. Tar seal was only just beginning to be applied to some roads. The many unbridged rivers and streams were dangerous to ford in wet weather. Vehicles regularly bogged down in mud and suffered frequent punctures.

Travel by sea provided access to the many small bays, but was equally tedious. Where there was no dock or jetty, passengers had to be landed by launches or in surfboats from small coastal steamers. Overland travel in the countryside was on horseback, by horse-drawn coach or on foot. Motor cars were low-powered and expensive — an average five-seater cost about £190 and a two-seater £175, more than many public servants’ annual salaries. “Judging by the great number of these in use,” reported one newspaper of a hui in Ōtaki, “it would appear that the motor is regarded by the Māori as almost a necessity in these go-ahead times.”

Aeroplanes were a novelty in January 1914 Joseph Hammond had become the first person to fly over Auckland city.

Telephones were used mainly by businesses, for local calls only. During the war, “someone in the family would be given the task of walking to the post office to write down the latest war news from the notice board outside”.

Saturday was known as “Rahoroi” (washday) because it took much of the day to handwash and dry linen and clothing. The old method of washing clothes was just beginning to be replaced by portable boilers.

People beyond one’s town or village were contacted by telegram (also known as a cablegram) or handwritten letter.

Every sizeable town had a racecourse, public hall, sports grounds, billiard saloons and hotels. Rugby football, rugby league, cricket, golf, hockey, “soccer” (association football), tennis, bowls, boxing, athletics and woodchopping were all in vogue.

The most popular entertainment was the “pictures”, silent movies screened in theatres, often to the accompaniment of live music played by small orchestras. Affluent households owned gramophones (phonographs) in addition to other trappings of modernity: player pianos, books, comfortable chairs.

Race Relations

Pākehā and Māori had entrenched views of each other that were based largely on perceived racial differences. Pākehā blamed Māori, for example, for spreading smallpox (brought to Northland by a Mormon missionary) during the 1913 outbreak. The press labelled it “the Māori epidemic”, some education boards instructed teachers not to admit “Māori and half-caste children until they can present certificates of successful vaccination”, and the health authorities invoked regulations preventing Māori in the Auckland region from travelling unless they could prove they had been vaccinated.Some restaurant owners went as far as barring Māori from their premises.

For their part, Māori saw the epidemic as a convenient excuse for Pākehā businesspeople to discriminate against them. Māori views were shaped both by decades of inequity and by a strongly developed sense of community in which there was little place for individualism. For many Pākehā, by contrast, individual ownership, rights and duties were foremost.

This Pākehā sense of cultural superiority was derived from the United Kingdom (where more than a quarter of the Pākehā population had been born) and it was also prevalent in the media.

The local press provided an essentially one-eyed view of Māori, often cast as a comic character, and saw little need to reflect Māori opinion. There were few constraints on the free expression of prejudice (sometimes vicious) and bigotry. Alfred Grace’s fictional “Hone Tiki” dialogues are an example of a patronising style of writing that mocked Māori speech.“I come from Kawhia … I come to get t’e money of t’e Gover’ment for t’e piece land t’ey buy from me an’ my brutter.”

While Pākehā thought Māori capable of learning a trade or working the land, most believed them incapable of entering the “learned professions”. This attitude was evident in the Native School curriculum, which beyond basic reading, writing and arithmetic, emphasised manual instruction, personal hygiene and (later) physical education.

Māori concert parties were popular throughout New Zealand. This group, photographed at Wairaka meeting house in 1912, was Whakatane-based. Some of them served overseas during the war.

In 1906, after a royal commission had inquired into Te Aute College for boys, headmaster John Thornton was pressured “to abandon his academic curriculum and adopt a technical one centred on agricultural studies”. When he refused, the Department of Education “curtailed financial scholarships”. To counter Māori objections to a technical curriculum, the Inspector-General of Education said that this would help Māori recognise “the dignity of manual labour”.

And the Inspector of Native Schools “declared that the purpose of Māori education was to prepare Māori for life amongst Māori, not to encourage them to mingle with Europeans in trade and commerce”. Captain Peter Buck (Te Rangi Hiroa) wrote from Egypt during the war that he had seen this prejudice at first hand: “Though living side by side, the Pākehā knows very little about the Māori and in many cases he thinks the Māori has degenerated.”

For more than 50 years “the schooling of Māori had been used as a means of social control and assimilation, and for the establishment of British law”. The reading material in Native Schools in 1914 reflected and reinforced an emphasis on English race and culture while inculcating patriotism. Intellectual development took second place to manual instruction in the curriculum, sowing the seeds of low teacher expectations, undermining traditional Māori knowledge, and developing “resistance, negativity and apathy towards school and education” among Māori pupils and parents alike. The immediate result was fewer career options for Māori, with manual labouring seen as a natural vocation. Such attitudes were entrenched by 1914, a fact reflected by the status given the Māori Contingent.

Although few Pākehā spoke Māori, younger Māori in particular were fluent in English. This worried some parents. “Woe is me,” remarked one mother to her husband in Māori, “our children have knowledge … we cannot share and speak a tongue … we do not understand.” The older members of nearly all North Island iwi conversed in Māori, except when addressing Pākehā.

South Island Māori were less likely to speak their native tongue because they were such a small minority of the population. Because Māori was not taught in schools (where its use had been banned a decade earlier) or universities, the language lacked prestige. Teachers in the Native Schools “were not expected to know Māori and were … discouraged from learning it on the assumption that it would lessen their efficiency in teaching English”.

The tangihanga of the Whanganui leader Takarangi Metekingi in 1915. The procession leaves Putiki Pā for the burial ground. Some Pākehā claimed that such gatherings were nurseries for disease.

A Pākehā entering a Māori community “was very much aware that he was in a world different from his own”. Pākehā often criticised the duration and expense of hui (tribal gatherings), an established Māori institution. The larger and more lavish these were, the greater the mana (prestige) acquired by the hosts. Mana was measured not by what was accumulated but by what was given away.

Using profits to benefit the wider group through hui was not ethically inferior to Pākehā using surpluses to benefit individuals. Moreover, hui enabled Māori to develop public and tribal opinion on topics of common interest, and to publicise projects. It was the hui, not the newspaper, that provided a forum for airing and criticising opinions. Hui also produced some of the country’s ablest orators.

As with Pākehā, Māori incomes varied greatly. Some Māori were well-off, able to buy modern luxuries, while others struggled to afford necessities. Conditions varied widely from settlement to settlement and region to region, and generalising about Māori lifestyles is problematic.

A few whānau, usually those of chiefly bloodlines who had benefited most from the individualisation of land titles, lived in large European-style houses. At the other extreme, especially where raupatu (land confiscation) had occurred, large extended families covering three or four generations were crowded into raupo whare, temporary tin shelters, or one- or two-room wooden huts with leaking walls and roofs, sack-covered windows and earthen floors. Some rural Pākehā lived in similar conditions, but this was uncommon.

Some Māori lived in dark, damp and inadequately ventilated dwellings unfit for habitation. Moreover, there was usually no form of drainage and houses were surrounded by mud and slush in wet weather. More than half of the Māori population did not have a safe water supply, and some broadcast excreta and discarded rubbish on their properties without burying it. Animals such as pigs and fowls were free to roam about and sometimes to enter houses. Nevertheless, 90 per cent of Māori homes were neat and tidy inside, their earthen floors kept scrupulously clean, no matter how dilapidated they appeared from the outside.

Many Māori still grew their own staple crops of kumara and potatoes, and regularly gathered fish, dried shark, koura/crayfish and other shellfish if they were coast-dwellers, and wild pigs, kereru/New Zealand pigeon, tuna/eel and puha/sow thistle if they lived inland. Foraging skills were to prove useful for Māori soldiers overseas. By custom food preparation and cooking was conducted away from the living quarters, either outside or under a separate shelter (kauta).

Māori children, especially girls, generally had a sheltered upbringing. Heeni Wharemaru, who was born in 1912 in a dirt-floor, ponga-walled house in Kamate, described her childhood as idyllic. When her Ngāti Maniapoto parents were not around, her brothers kept her safe.

Most children were also exposed to spirituality, be it Christian, Māori or a combination of both. “In the evenings we sometimes sat and listened to our mum and dad tell stories about kehua, or ghosts,” recalled Heeni, who grew up Methodist. “I can remember quite distinctly my dad being held up by a group of ghosts who were sitting right across the road, blocking his way. He had no choice but to get off his horse and talk to them.”

This extract is from Whitiki! Whiti! Whiti! E! Māori in the First World War written by Monty Soutar and published by Bateman Publishing (RRP: $69.99)

Monty Soutar ONZM (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tai, Ngāti Kahungunu) is a senior historian with Manatū Taonga / The Ministry for Culture and Heritage. He was the World War One Historian-in-Residence at the Auckland War Memorial Museum (2014−17), and the author of Nga Tama Toa (David Bateman, 2008), which told the story of C Company of 28 (Māori) Battalion in the Second World War. Monty has been a teacher, soldier and university lecturer and has held a number of appointments on national bodies, including the First World War Centenary Panel and the Waitangi Tribunal. He’s now leading a digital project on Te Tiriti o Waitangi settlements in Aotearoa.

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Page 5. Changing health, 1945 onwards

In the later 20th century the Māori population continued to increase, especially in the 1950s and 1960s, and increasingly Māori moved from rural to urban areas.

Health conditions

After the Second World War a tuberculosis campaign began to bear fruit among Māori. From the early 1950s decreasing rates of tuberculosis incidence and mortality were recorded, particularly when Māori were immunised against it. In 1964 the Health Department stated that tuberculosis was no longer a significant cause of death among Māori.

Māori infant mortality fell steadily from the late 1940s, although in the early 21st century it was still higher than the non-Māori rate.

Typhoid outbreaks were rare by the 1950s.


In overall health status the Māori population continued to lag behind the non-Māori population. In a 1960 study the Māori mortality rate was still about twice that of non-Māori, with the greatest gap seen in the years of infancy and childhood. Māori were affected more than non-Māori by degenerative conditions such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and stroke, which had not been much in evidence before. Lessening impact from infectious disease was offset by increasing impact of non-communicable illnesses. High rates of sickness and death from degenerative conditions were still being recorded at the end of the 20th century.


Though the gap was closing in the 21st century, clear heath disparities remained. In 2012–14 Māori life expectancy at birth was 6.8 years lower than non-Māori for women and 7.3 years for men. In the 2010s Māori men were almost three times as likely as non-Māori men to die of lung cancer Māori women were over four times as likely as non-Māori women. Māori died from heart disease at more than twice the rate of non-Māori. Māori were twice as likely to have diabetes as non-Māori, and diabetes complication rates were also higher. Despite great improvements, and a significant rise in life expectancy, Māori were still worse affected than non-Māori by almost every known health condition.

Factors in disparity

Continuing disparities between Māori and non-Māori in the areas of employment, income and education were an important factor in health inequalities. Housing conditions played a part too. Lifting the standard of Māori dwellings, especially in rural areas, was a slow process. The official housing programme was faced with the problem of keeping up with the rapid increase in the Māori population, which meant that overcrowding persisted even when large numbers of new houses were built. The problem of substandard housing had not been entirely eliminated.

Māori and the health system

With so many families moving to towns and cities, Māori had better access to health facilities. But barriers of cost and culture were often still present. The government’s public health programmes continued to target Māori communities when distinctive needs were identified, and this had a considerable impact on Māori health status.

Hospitals were fully funded by the government from 1957, removing the perception that Māori did not contribute enough to hospital costs through the local authority rating system. By 1959 the proportion of Māori births occurring in hospital had risen to about 90%, and the figure continued to rise. There have been Māori doctors, nurses and other health workers for more than a century – in greater numbers in the early 21st century. But Māori are still under-represented in the health workforce at all levels.

Attitudes to health

In the second half of the 20th century the government began to take a more bicultural approach to Māori health needs, partly in response to Māori demands for greater involvement in issues concerning their health. The new trend intensified in the 1980s. It included enabling Māori to participate more in the planning and implementation of health programmes, and making greater acknowledgement of distinctive Māori values and practices in the health area.

Te Hui Whakaoranga (the Maori Health Planning Workshop) held in Auckland in 1984 was a landmark in this change. Soon marae-based health schemes and other Māori health providers began to emerge, offering medical care ‘by Māori, for Māori’. The government publicly committed itself to ending the disparities between Māori and non-Māori health.

Traditional medicine

Māori still retained many of their traditional ideas about health. Officials in the health sector gradually developed a greater understanding of Māori approaches to health and sickness, and government policies showed a greater acceptance of these approaches and their value for health care. Tohunga still practised in many Māori communities, and Pākehā were increasingly willing to view their work more positively. The Tohunga Suppression Act was repealed in 1962. Twenty years later the health authorities began to show a willingness to accept traditional healing practices as complementary to Western medicine, and even to recognise tohunga and incorporate their work into the mainstream health system.


The battle begins with the Shaolin Monk training in a field when he hears someone making loud noises. He investigates and finds the Māori Warrior performing his "Ka Mate" haka. The Shaolin Monk watches as the Māori Warrior dances in front of him. The Māori Warrior then sticks his tongue out at him, which means that he is going to eat him. The Shaolin Monk slowly walks up to the Māori, which prompts him to raise his Stingray Spear in defense. The Monk calmly bows to him, but the Māori only responds by charging at him and wildly swinging his spear.

The monk swiftly moves and does back-flips to dodge the Māori's thrusts. The Māori Warrior sticks his tongue out at the Shaolin Monk again, but the Monk remains calm as he pulls out a meteor hammer and begins to swing it around. He tries to bend it around his leg and strike the Māori, but the Stingray Spear intercepts the blow. The Māori Warrior prepares to swing the Stingray Spear again, but the Shaolin Monk swings the meteor hammer and wraps it around the spear. The two pull on the rope to gain control of the Stingray Spear. The Māori then angrily throws the Spear, causing the Monk to fall back. The Monk quickly back-flips to keep his balance and remain standing. He makes a run for the trees, forcing the Māori to give chase.

The Shaolin Monk finds his Twin Hooks and Staff behind a tree and picks them up before resuming his escape. He eventually stops and turns to fight the Māori Warrior, who is now armed with his Taiaha. He quickly pulls out his Whip Chain and begins to swing it at the Māori Warrior. The Māori blocks the blows before the Shaolin Monk charges at him and swings fiercely. The Māori Warrior jumps out of the way and watches the Monk drop to the floor. He tries to close in with his Taiaha, but the Monk swings the Whip Chain above him and keeps the Māori at bay. Eventually, he bounces his body into the air briefly and swings the chain under him. He wraps it around the Māori Warrior's Taiaha and pulls at it. The Māori manages to hold on to his weapon, but the distraction allows the Monk to get back up. The Māori thrusts his Taiaha, but the Monk easily slides under it and runs to his Staff and Twin Hooks. The Māori Warrior runs after the Monk, chasing him to a more open field. Eventually, the Shaolin Monk throws his Twin Hooks to the ground and springs into a fighting stance with his Staff. The Māori watches as the Shaolin Monk begins to twirl his Staff around. The two begin to swing their weapon at the other, continuously blocking each other's blows.

Eventually, the Taiaha breaks the Shaolin Monk's Staff, leaving the Monk without a weapon. The Monk slowly backs up, and the Māori begins to fiercely attack him. The Monk tries to dodge the Taiaha, but eventually gets hit. The Māori Warrior tries to sweep the Shaolin Monk off his feet, but the Monk flips into the air and avoids the blow. The Monk picks up his Twin Hooks, and readies himself as the Māori tries to attack again. He effortlessly blocks the Taiaha before hooking it and pulling it from the Māori Warrior's hands. The Māori tries to come at him, but the Monk links the Twin Hooks together and swings it, cutting into the Māori's stomach. The Māori becomes infuriated and charges at the Shaolin Monk, sending him to the floor. The Shaolin Monk kicks him away and quickly jumps back up.

The Monk pulls out his Emei Piercers, and the Māori grabs his Shark Tooth and Mere Clubs. The Māori tries to frantically swings at the Monk, who grabs his arm and pulls the Mere Club from his hand. The Māori Warrior swings his Shark Tooth Club and hits the Monk. The Monk quickly spins one of his Emei Piercers, distracting the Māori for a second and allowing the Monk to punch him in the gut. The Monk tries to stab the Māori, but is blocked by the Shark Tooth Club. He spins around and elbows the Māori, causing him to flinch. The Monk then grabs both of his Emei Piercers and stabs him in both the neck and temple. He pulls out his Piercers and watches the Māori fall to the floor. The raises his hand in the peace sign, then the Monk proceeds to bow his head at the deceased Māori Warrior.

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