The government is pleased to be contributing $500,000 towards the construction of a C Company 28 Māori Battalion Memorial House on land adjacent to the Tairawhiti Museum, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Christopher Finlayson announced today.
“This grant has been given to ensure that the immense contribution of C Company members to this nation is recognised and remembered,” Mr Finlayson said. “C Company 28 Māori Battalion has a special place in the history of the region and New Zealand.”
The grant comes on top of funding of $600,000 under the Regional Museums Policy to the Tairawhiti Museum and Art Gallery’s redevelopment and extension project, which is now well underway.
The new funds will be used towards the cost of building the C Company Memorial House.
The Trust’s concept for the C Company Memorial House is that it will also acknowledge the sacrifice by Horouta Waka District Māori in other theatres of war: The Boer War, the First World War, Korea, Malaya, Borneo, South East Asia and more recent postings such as Bosnia, East Timor, and Afghanistan
28th Māori Battalion
Formed in 1939, the 28th Māori Battalion was a World War II voluntary rifle unit which served overseas. Between 1941 and 1945 the Māori Battalion forged an outstanding reputation on the battlefields of Greece, Crete, North Africa and Italy.
C Company, 28th Māori Battalion
C Company was one of five companies within the 28th Māori Battalion. C Company was formed by volunteers from Tōrere around the East Coast to Muriwai taking in the tribal groupings of Ngāi Tai, Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga a Māhaki and Ngai Tamanuhiri.
The Tairawhiti Museum and Art Gallery is the major collecting institution in the Gisborne region. It cares for around 350,000 collection items. Holdings include taonga Māori, several of which were chosen to tour in the international exhibition Te Māori; social history collections; around 600 artworks and 300,000 photographic images.
Updated on 23rd July 2015