Officials are shown at a recruiting conference organised by the Māori War Effort Organisation (MWEO), in Auckland in September 1942. Paraire Paikea of Ngāti Whātua, the minister in charge of the Māori war effort, is fourth from left. He is talking to officers including Henry Te Reiwhati Vercoe (second from left) of Ngāti Pikiao, a veteran of the South African and First World wars. The MWEO was formed in June 1942. Its main function was recruitment, but it also dealt with Māori education, vocational training and manpower allocation. After Paikea's death in April 1943, the operations of the MWEO began to be scaled down. This followed concerns in the Native Department and some other government circles that the MWEO could encourage too much Māori autonomy.
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