Te Tai – Treaty Settlement Stories

Story: Ngāti Porou

Ngati Porou: Mo te Atua, te Kingi me te Whenua

This second webisode looks at the commitment of Ngati Porou to God, King and Country and the high price the iwi paid as a result of this commitment.

Key themes in this webisode:

Ngati Porou military service

Ngati Porou has a long history of sacrifice and service in response to the Crown’s call to arms. The impact of its military service is explained by war historian Dr Monty Soutar. The webisode looks at C Company of the 28th Maori Battalion. It also looks at the importance of Ngati Porou’s military service being recognised in its Treaty settlement.

The price of citizenship

Many young Ngati Porou soldiers paid the ultimate price for the commitment the iwi showed over many years to support the Crown’s call to arms in the wars. Many died, were maimed or imprisoned. Those who did return home had seen the horrors of war. This is described as ‘the price of citizenship’.

Ta Apirana Ngata

When World War I broke out in 1914, Sir Apirana Ngata was the Eastern Maori Member of Parliament. He played a key role in mobilising Ngati Porou men to enlist for World War I and World War II.

Apirana Mahuika

Papa Apirana Mahuika was a driving force behind the Ngati Porou Treaty settlement claim. He was the founding chair of Te Runanga o Ngati Porou, appointed in 1987. He held the position until his death in 2015. His son Matanuku Mahuika, a lawyer and key negotiator, features in webisode one.

Focus questions

Below are some questions to consider before watching webisode two. Once you have watched it, come back to these questions. You may want to change your answers or add to them.

1. What do you already know about the involvement of Ngati Porou in the world wars or other battles in history?

Theme: Mana Motuhake

Do a group brainstorm with your classmates to record what you already know about the involvement of Ngati Porou in the world wars and any other battles in history.

Apirana Ngata
Sir Apirana Ngata, 1914.
Alexander Turnbull Library. Reference: B-043-017

2. Who was Sir Apirana Ngata?

What was Sir Apirana Ngata famous for? Where was he from? Why did he encourage Ngati Porou to support the Crown in World War I?

3. How did Ngati Porou respond when they were called upon to fight for the Crown?

Theme: Turangawaewae

Did they fight with the Crown or against them? Were Ngati Porou quick to respond to the call to fight for the Crown?

Quick-fire questions

Watch webisode two then answer these questions.

Themes: Mana Motuhake Turangawaewae


Open Google Docs to record your answers Link to Google Docs

Activities for everyone

Soldiers from Ngati Porou played a significant role in New Zealand’s military efforts during the world wars. Maori from other iwi also fought in these wars.

1. Conduct your own research to find out if any of your tipuna fought during the wars.

Themes: Whakapapa Whanaungatanga

Here are some questions to help guide your research:

  • How many people from your whanau served overseas?
  • Where did they fight?
  • Do you have any pictures of them?
  • Did they return from the war?
  • How old were they when they went to war?
  • Did they have any children when they left for war?
  • Who in your whanau might be able to help you with your research?

Present your findings:

  • by doing an oral presentation to your class
  • as a visual poster
  • as a written report with images
  • as a short video.

2. Brainstorm some ideas about different ways your whanau or kura today could acknowledge and remember those soldiers who fought in the war.

Themes: Whakapapa Whanaungatanga

Activities if your kura is in Ngati Porou or you are from Ngati Porou

1. Visit the C Company Maori Battalion Memorial House in Gisborne.

Themes: Whakapapa Whanaungatanga

  • Do you have tipuna in this whare? Who? How old were they were they went to war?
  • Did they return from war alive?
  • Who else in your class has photos of their tipuna in this memorial?
  • What do you think life was like back at home when all these men left for war?
  • How do you think their whanau felt seeing them go off to fight in the war?

2. Choose a person whose picture is on display in the C Company Maori Battalion Memorial House in Gisborne to research. Create a report about this soldier. It could be one of your tipuna who fought in the war, or someone else.

Themes: Whakapapa Whanaungatanga

Here are some questions to help guide your research:

  • What is the soldier’s name?
  • What rank or role did they hold in the army?
  • When did they go to war?
  • Where were they sent to fight?
  • Did anyone else from their whanau get sent to fight?
  • What was their experience like during the war?
  • What do you think life was like for them after the war?
  • How do you think you would feel if you were called to go and fight for your iwi or country in a place on the other side of the world?

You could present your report as:

  • a written report with images
  • a PowerPoint presentation to your class.

Activities if your kura is outside of Ngati Porou or you are from another iwi

1. Lots of towns and cities have memorials to their servicemen who fought during the wars. Look for a memorial in your town or city and pay it a visit.

Themes: Turangawaewae Kaitiakitanga

  • What kind of memorial is it?
  • What (if any) messages does it include?
  • What kind of condition is it in? Is it looked after? Who is responsible for taking care of it?
  • Do people visit it?
  • In what other ways does your town or city remember its servicemen?

2. If your town does not have a memorial to its servicemen who fought in the wars, design a memorial that you think would be appropriate. Draw an image or write a description of what you think it should look like. Explain why you have chosen this design and the meaning behind it.

Theme: Turangawaewae

3. Write a letter or create a video to persuade your local council that a memorial should be established to remember the sacrifice of the servicemen from your town who died during the wars. Your letter or video must be convincing and should give solid reasons as to why you think a memorial should be created. It should also include a description of the kind of memorial that you think would be appropriate.

Themes: Mana Motuhake Turangawaewae

For the kaiako

Links to Te Marautanga o Aotearoa

Tikanga a-Iwi: Te Ao Hurihuri, Taumata 4: (4.2) Ka whakaahua i nga huarahi e tuhia ai e maumaharatia ai nga mahi o mua.

Tikanga a-Iwi: Te Ao Hurihuri, Taumata 5: (5.1) Ka whakamarama i te whakaawenga o nga tuahua o mua i nga hononga i roto, i waenga hoki i te ropu, me te haere tonu o enei whakaawenga. 

Introducing the topic

Check out these links to information and resources about Maori and Ngati Porou involvement in the wars:


  • What do akonga already know about Maori involvement in World War I and World War II?
  • What do they know about Ngati Porou’s involvement in the wars?



expert, specialist (pukenga, tohunga, matatau, toa)

­attack, charge, lead (hapai)

overseas (tawahi)


Ngati Porou have chosen not to use macrons in this resource.

© Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou 2020.