Kīngitanga leader Te Puea Hērangi with Captain William Tutepuaki Pitt and Pitt's daughter, Peggy Alexandria at a 1918 fundraising hui at Porourangi marae on the East Coast. During the First World War Te Puea, of Waikato, led Kīngitanga (Māori King movement) resistance to the conscription of their men to fight overseas. In contrast, Pitt volunteered for service in both the South African War and in the First World War, rising to the rank of captain in the Māori Contingent. He was from Ngāti Porou, with affiliations to Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, Rongowhakaata and Ngāi Tāmanuhiri.
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