Story: Ngā pakanga ki tāwāhi – Māori and overseas wars

Muttonbirds, Italy, 1944

Muttonbirds, Italy, 1944

28th (Māori) Battalion soldiers look happy to receive barrels of tītī (muttonbirds) during the Italian campaign in 1944. The soldier on the left is Tom Poki of Whāngārā on the East Coast, while the man on the right is Rodney Pitt of Gisborne. Māori at home helped boost the morale of their men overseas by sending them containers of preserved traditional foods such as tītī, pipi and pūpū (types of shellfish), tuna (eel), mangō (shark), kōura (crayfish), kūmara (sweet potato) and karaka berries.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, War History Collection (DA-01514)
Reference: DA-07989-F
Photograph by George Frederick Kaye

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.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Monty Soutar, 'Ngā pakanga ki tāwāhi – Māori and overseas wars - Second World War: the Māori war effort', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 5 July 2022)

Story by Monty Soutar, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 1 May 2016