Policy on prisoners of war

This document comes from the official December 1941 Māori Battalion war diary.   It outlines the treatment of prisoners' of war (taken by the Maori Battalion) with regard to their property and other responsibilities. 

At Gazala in December 1941, the Battalion captured over 1000 prisoners.  Those captured included Italian soldiers who appreciated their treatment at the hands of the Māori Battalion.  The Battalion's padre, Kahi Harawira commented in a letter to Ngata

"E Api, tino pai nga tamariki nei ki a ratou herehere.  Hikareti noa, wai, kai, hangai rawa tera kupu ra - Ki te mate kai tou hoariri whangaia, ki te mate wai whakaunumia"

[Api, these boys treat their prioners well.  They give them cigarettes and food, just as the word says - If your enemy hunger feed them, if they thirst give them drink]

(Soutar, 2008, Nga Tama Toa: The Price of Citizenship, p.195.)




Archives New Zealand = Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Ref: 28 NZ (Māori) Battalion, July 1940 to January 1946, WAII 1 DA 68-1-24, p.70


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