Māori participation in World War II was significant: nearly 16,000 Māori enlisted for overseas service and around 3,600 served. By March 1943, 29,000 Māori, or one-third of the population, were contributing to the war effort, many of them civilians.
Te Hau Kāinga, supported by the Marsden Fund, investigates the impact of war at home on ordinary families and communities and on Māori society more broadly. We are interested in a range of issues such as Māori engagement in patriotic efforts, Māori economic contribution to the war effort at home, and how the soldiers were treated on their return.
Through this website we seek to engage with, and communicate our findings to the community. We also encourage you to share stories of how your family was impacted by World War II.
You may recall in the news recently accounts of kōiwi (bones) and tūpāpaku (bodies) being repatriated from Austria.
Munitions factories were important sites of Māori labour during the war.
On 6 October 1943, a multitude of people assembled at Whakarua Park, Ruatōria [Ruatōrea] to attend the posthumous investiture of the Victoria Cross to Second Lieutenant Te Moananui-a-Kiwa Ngārimu.