Anzac Day storytelling and research: Māori and World War I

National Library, Molesworth St, Thorndon, Wellington
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This special Anzac Day event will be facilitated by Lee Timutimu (Ngāti Awa, Ngāiterangi, Tūhoe), with MC Joe Harawira (Ngāti Awa, Ngāiterangi, Ngāti Maniapoto).

You'll hear stories from an articulate group of speakers who are passionate about the subject of Māori participation in war.  They will share their extensive research experience and anecdotal evidence in this one-off session designed for a whānau (family) audience.

Ultimately, war has played a significant part in the shaping of who we are as a people and culture, not to mention our reputation and standing on the world stage.  It is but another thread in the fabric of our history.  Join us in this special Anzac Day story session to hear interesting accounts about the First World War and other campaigns, from a Māori perspective, but with a universal appeal.

“Kei wareware tātou…lest we forget.”

Kaikorero (Guest speakers):

Puawai Cairns (Ngāti Pūkenga, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāiterangi): The Sons of Tūmatauenga – Telling the stories of the Māori soldiers at Gallipoli.
Curator Māori Contemporary Culture, Puawai is one of the curators of the recently opened major exhibition ‘Gallipoli: the scale of our war’ at Te Papa.  For the last few years, Puawai has focused her research attention on the biographical histories of the Māori men who served at Gallipoli, several of whom will be featured in the exhibition.  She also presented some of her research and works at TEDx Tauranga last year.

Leanne Tamaki (Tūhoe, Ngāti Maniapoto): Remembering War – Following in the footsteps of of the 28th Māori Battalion.
Leanne is Administrator of the 28th Māori Battalion website at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Leanne travelled with an 80-strong tour party to Europe and North Africa in May 2014 to retrace the steps of our ancestors that fought in WWII.

Taina McGregor (Ngāti Porou): Nā tātau, mā rātau – The home effort 1915 – 1918.
Taina is the Oral History Advisor, Māori, at the Alexander Turnbull Library.  She was a principal interviewer on the C Company Oral History Project in 1994.  This project went on to become one of the largest oral history projects in NZ.  Taina is also a trustee of Nga Taonga a Nga Tama Toa trust, who are the kaitiaki (caretakers) of the C Company Oral History and Memorabilia Collection.

Tata Lawton (Ngāti Kauwhata, Ngāti Paoa, Ngai Tai and Ngāti Mahanga)
Tata is currently the Deputy Director-General Kahui Kaupapa Atawhai for the Department of Conservation.  He's also the lead researcher for the C Company Oral History Project, 28 Māori Battalion, which has been going since 1994.  This project is a personal, social and military history of the Māori people who reside on the East Coast region of the North Island from the Hawkes Bay area to the Bay of Plenty.

Tata has a significant background in research, history (Māori, New Zealand and Pacific), indigenous rights and traditional knowledge. He has worked in the Treaty Settlements arena as a researcher for the Waitangi Tribunal.


9:55am: Mihi Whakatau / Welcome
10.00am: Session 1: Puawai Cairns: The Sons of Tūmatauenga – Telling the stories of the Māori soldiers at Gallipoli.
10.30am: Break
10:35am: Session 2: Leanne Tamaki: Remembering War – Following in the footsteps of of the 28th Māori Battalion.
11:05am: Break
11:10am: Session 3: Taina McGregor: Nā tātau, mā rātau – The home effort 1915 – 1918.
11:40am: Break
11:45am: Session 4: Tata Lawton: Topic: TBA.
12:15pm: Kua mutu [Close]

Please note:

  • This event is primarily an English language event for a family audience – both Māori and non-Māori.  Potentially this means it will be a culturally diverse group and an all ages audience.  However, given the subject matter, some bilingual elements may be used when and where our speakers feel it is appropriate. Since it is a whānau affair, it will be a relaxed and informal environment.
  • Our MC will generally adhere to the format and timings outlined above.  However, from time to time, it is normal for our MC to deviate slightly from format and timing depending on the natural flow and progression of the event.

Register online:

This event is free, but to help us with an idea of numbers, we'd encourage you to let us know you're coming using this link:  with Anzac storytelling in the subject line.