Story: South African War

Trooper Callaway

Trooper Callaway

Despite the British view that the South African War was a 'white man's war', about 20 Māori did serve in the New Zealand forces in South Africa. Probably the first was Walter Callaway, shown in this romantic image from the Auckland Weekly News in December 1899. Callaway served in the 1st, 7th and 9th contingents, and was mentioned in despatches. He also composed a haka for the 1st Contingent, which ran: 'Kia kaha Niu Tireni. Whawai maiea mo to Kuini to Kainga. Ake. Ake. Ake!' (Be strong, New Zealand. Fight bravely for your queen, for your country. Ever. Ever. Ever!)

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: N-P 426; Auckland Weekly News, 22 December 1899, p. 5

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'South African War - New Zealand’s contribution', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 September 2023)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 20 Jun 2012