70 years ago this month
Reconnaissance and patrols are undertaken to ready for the Battalion's attack on the Cassino railway station. The attack saw the unit suffer over 100 casualties in less than 24 hours, the heaviest of any of the New Zealand units. Read the war diary for February 1944 here
Click here to access resources for teachers and students, including background information, fact sheets and activities, and an overview of the 28th Māori Battalion and the New Zealand curriculum.
All enquiries about medals should be sent to:
Staff Office Medals
Personnel Archive Trentham Camp
Private Bag 905
ph 04 527 5270
The New Zealand Defence Force has developed a series of links, Medals awarded to New Zealand military personnel, that includes details about applying for medals or replacement.
Find information on how to order a soldier's full military record on the NZ Defence Force website.
Guidance for finding citations.
- NZHistory.net.nz – New Zealand's leading history website. Includes an overview of New Zealand and the Second World War, features on the Battle for Crete, the North African campaign and Italian campaign, and features on Maori and the First World War, Maori and the Second World War and the Maori War Effort Organisation.
- Kia Mau - originally designed for senior Māori-medium teachers and students. The website focuses on two waiata and two haka that have an association with the Māori Battalion. It also includes teacher's notes and video clips.
- The Commonwealth War Graves Commission – features a searchable online register of war graves including New Zealand personnel. See also the War Graves Photographic Project website.
- Dictionary of New Zealand Biography = Ngā Tāngata Taumata Rau – features biographies of over 3000 New Zealanders, including many people associated with the 28th Māori Battalion, such as Arapeta Awatere, Frederick Baker, Charles Bennett, James Hēnare, Wī Hūata, K.A. Keiha, Eruera Love, Haane Manahi, Te Moananui-a-Kiwa Ngārimu, Āpirana Ngata, Hanara Reedy, Rangi Royal and Charlie Shelford. These biographies are also available in te reo Māori.
- The New Zealand Electronic Text Centre (NZETC) is a free online archive of NZ and Pacific full-text books, journals and manuscripts. It has digitised the 50 volumes of the Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War, 1939-1945, including the official history of the 28 Maori Battalion, written by J.F. Cody and originally published in 1956.
- The Cenotaph – developed by the Auckland Museum = Tamaki Paenga Hira, this database contains records and some photos for over 115,000 New Zealanders who served in overseas wars, from South Africa in 1899, through the First and Second World Wars to Korea, Malaya and Vietnam in the 1950s to 1970s, and even recent peacekeeping deployments.
- National Library of New Zealand = Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa – includes the Alexander Turnbull Library, which holds extensive photographic, oral history and other collections relating to the Māori Battalion.
- Archives New Zealand = Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga – the official guardian of New Zealand’s public archives.
- National Army Museum = Te Mata Toa – New Zealand army memorial museum at Waiouru, and home of the restored Māori Battalion canteen truck, Te Rau Aroha.
- Rotorua Museum of Art and History = Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa – includes an exhibition on the history of B Company, 28th Māori Battalion.
- Tairawhiti Museum = Te Whare Taonga o te Tairawhiti – Gisborne's museum and art gallery, which includes an exhibition on the history of C Company, 28th Māori Battalion.
- Anzac Day collection (NZOnScreen) – a fantastic collection of some of the best documentaries and dramas about New Zealanders at war.
- Nga Tama Toa - Nga Taonga a Nga Tamatoa Trust guardians of C Company oral history and memorabilia collection.
- Gisborne Photo News - archive of this monthly serial pubished between 1954 and 1975. It includes a number of photographs of mostly east coast 28 Maori Battalion (and their families) after the war.
- Courage and Valour: New Zealanders in the Italian Campaign - audio documentary series about the Italian campaign featuring New Zealand veterans
- Hitler and the Gum Diggers – a documentary about Nga Kiri Kapia (Gum Diggers), the men of A Company..
- Maori Battalion - March to Victory (1990) – produced, directed and written by Tainui Stephens, and narrated by actor George Henare, this television documentary tells the stories of five men who served with the Māori Battalion during the Second World War.
- Ngarimu VC (1993) - This documentary tells the story of Te Moananui a Kiwa Ngārimu (VC). It looks at his life and features archival footage and interviews with Ngārimu's friends and family in Ruatoria, and Battalion comrades
- Ngarimu VC: the whanau remembers - Moana Nui a Kiwa Ngarimu's sisters' remember their big brother from before he left for war.
- Tama Tū (2004) – an award-winning short film written and directed by Taika Waititi and produced by Whenua Films. Six Māori Battalion soldiers camped in Italian ruins wait for night to fall. In the silence the bros-in-arms distract themselves with jokes.
- The Years Back - Charts New Zealand's 6th Brigade and Maori Battalion as they fight their way through Italy between 1943 and 1945. The documentary traces the advance north after Cassino falls, and includes the bloodless capture of Padua and the Kiwi forces facing down Tito's Yugoslav partisans in Trieste.amp;
- The Generals - a programme about Lieutenant-General Sir Bernard Freyberg who commanded the Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force, which included the Maori Battalion.amp.
- 28th Maori Battalion's 16th Reunion 1988, Waka Huia, Television New Zealand
- Ian McGibbon (ed.), The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Military History,Oxford University Press, Auckland, 2000
Monty Soutar, Nga Tama Toa - The Price of Citizenship: C Company 28 (Maori) Battalion 1939-1945, David Bateman,Auckland, 2008
Wira Gardiner, Te Mura o te Ahi: The Story of the Maori Battalion, Reed, Auckland, 1992
- Kolokesa Māhina-Tuai, ‘FIA (Forgotten in action): Pacific Islanders in the New Zealand Armed Forces’, pp 139-159 in Mallon, Māhina-Tuai, Salesa’s Tangata o le moana: New Zealand and the people of the Pacific. Te Papa Press, 2012.
- Monty Soutar, 'Māori Commanders of the 28 Māori Battalion' pp. 198-208 in Glyn Harper and Joe Hayward's Born to Lead: Portraits of New Zealand Commanders. Exsile Publishing, 2003. (Analyses leadership at a battalion level and addresses the question of whether there is a unique Māori command style)
Monty Soutar, ‘The price of citizenship. Maori involvement in the Italian Campaign’, in Stefano Fusi’s (ed) To the gateways of Florence: New Zealand forces in Tuscany 1944, Oratia Media, Auckland, 2011.
Arapeta Awatere, Awatere: A Soldier's Story, edited by Hinemoa Ruataupare Awatere, Huia,Wellington, 2003.
Patricia Grace, Ned & Katina: A True Love Story, Penguin,Auckland, 2009. (the story of Māori Battalion soldier Ned Nathan, who met and later married a young Cretan woman, Katina)
Paul Moon, Victoria Cross at Takrouna: the Haane Manahi story. Huia,Wellington, 2010.
Other related publications
Andrew Burdan, Victory at Point 209, as told by Kawata Teepa. Huia,Wellington, 2012. [English language version)
Andrew Burdan, Ngārimu: te tohu toa. [na Kawata Teepa ngā kōrero mō tēnei o ngā pukapuka]. Huia, Wellington, 2012. [Te reo Māori version]
Apirana Ngata, The Price of Citizenship: Ngarimu, VC, Whitcombe & Tombs,Wellington, 1943.
Christopher Pugsley, Te Hokowhitu a Tu: The Maori Pioneer Battalion in the First World War, Reed,Auckland, 1995.
C.K. Stead, Talking About O'Dwyer, Penguin,Auckland, 1999 (an historical novel based in part on a fictional Pākehā officer serving with the Māori Battalion in Crete)
Patricia Grace, Tu, Penguin,Auckland, 2004 (an historical novel inspired by Grace's father's own diary outlining his experiences with the Māori Battalion)
Louise Mataia, Odd men from the Pacific:the participation of Pacific Island men in the 28 (Maori) Battalion in the Second World War, Thesis (MA), Otago University, 2007
28th Maori Battalion Association, 28th Maori Battalion (NZ) Association Final Official Luncheon. Booklet, Te Puni Kokiri, Wellington, 2012
28th (Maori) Battalion, Ake, ake, kia kaha e [sound recording]: songs of the New Zealand 28 Māori Battalion. National Library ofNew Zealand, Atoll, 2006.