Hemi Maukau


World War 2

Serial No
Address on enlistment
9 Fitzherbert Street, Gisborne, New Zealand
Next of kin
Miss H. Maukau (sister), Care of H. Telford, Te Karaka, New Zealand

Comments (10)

Nanpa (Hemi) was my grandfather. Born 09/05/1923. Died in 1996. He and my grandmother Lily Maukau lived at Puha just out of Te Karaka. Nanny brought me up and when I was little my great grandmother came to live with us too. She was Rotira Otene, thin lady with a blue moko on her chin and now and again she smoked a pipe. She was from the Whakatane area. When I was young I remember my Nanpa as being very dark and he had big hands. I remember playing with one of his medals in the puddle and he said something like thats my special medal. He liked laughing and he liked being around his all his moko. Nanpa and Nanny moved around for work. She cooked for shearers. I remember them working up at Tarndale Station just outside Whatatutu and having Christmas there with all my cousins. After Nanny died my Nanpa was lost and family gatherings were never really the same after that. He stayed with Uncle Peter and Aunty Joyce for a while, stayed with my Aunty Charlotte in Kaiti for a while etc. He moved around quite a bit, making crayfish pots and picking and bundling puha to sell at the flee market. He also did the odd fencing job. As he became older he drew towards the church. The last time I saw him it was during Christmas about 1994 I think, I'm not quite sure. He was at Puha. He looked thin and was almost blind with cataracts. I cried when I saw him. Later whilst I was in Waioru on my Junior NCO's course he died and I returned for the funeral in service dress. He is buried on the hill looking down at the house I grew up in as a little girl. Last year, 2010, I went to visit the cemetry. He had no headstone but a white wooden cross. I feel for him, my nanpa, because I believe not many of his family knew and acknowledged him being a serviceman. He had daughters whose partners looked down on at nanpa and this often caused a rift. I believe his service had a big impact on his later behaviour and the way he lived and I wonder if he knew of services/organisations who could have given him support. He wasn't perfect but he loved all his moko's. RIP nanpa.

I made a mistake in my first entry. My great grandmother was from the Whakatane district. Born in Waimana. Registered as Rotira Te Rewa Timoti at birth. Her father, Te Rewa Timoti. Her grandfather Hokotahi from Ruatoki gave her her moko. She married in Waimana then in 1916 moved to Puha, married Otene Te Waka in 1916. At her death (1978) she was registered as Rotira Te Reo Otene.

Really kuz? If you want to now the truth, how about actually asking the Whanau instead of airing it here, so i suggest you stick to the kaupapa. Our Grandfather a.k.a Nanpa was a very strong man. And WE ALL ARE PROUD OF HIM and everyone that fights in a war, ANY WAR!! If only they could see how messed up this world really is today and what they fought for. They would be ashamed. But, we remember them all and what they achieved with hidden memories or not and nothing but LOVE for them. But on the 25th of April we remember them with nothing but love and honour for them and I'm grateful, because of our Grandfather and others we have the right to be free.

There are two side's to a coin,the allied forces won ww2 with the help of NZ force's the Maori battalion.They gave us two gifts freedom pride as Maori people.i very much doubt the maori battalion would be ashamed of how things turned out.Now imagine that the Germans the Japanese won the war,what language would you be speaking ?would you or i be alive?The day before CAPT COOK arrived was the last time we were free.

Quiet in the cheap seat........another person who can't stick to the kaupapa. I am free and so are many others. Now pay attention. Show me in my post where I specifically say the 28 Maori Battlion would be ashamed and yes I do think that they would be very ashamed of how we are direspectful. I don't need to imagine what we would be speaking. And I am free, obviously you don't feel free and that's your problem. In all the years that we have lived in New Zealand never once have i had to worry about where the next bomb is coming from, this i thank the Anzacs for, never once do i have to worry about slavery in my country, this again i thank the Anzacs for, never once do i have to prove that I am Maori I am from Aotearoa and I am proud of Who I am, this My Children my Grandchildren and myself i thank my Nanpa for.He represented ME, my loved ones everyday he wore that uniform and woke up as a man of war and fought as such. All my life i have seen nothing but love and respect for my Grandfather (Nanpa) and i know nothing of the above. Nanpa taught me to stand up for what i believe without violence for that is the way life is lost and mana is taken. To win is not to be the victor but the one whom can honestly say they achieved all that they have without disrespecting or abusing anyone or anything along the way. These words i have lived with and these words i will pass on. My Grandfather was never lost, he shared his experiences and teachings with us all. My only regret is that i never recorded them for my children to hear. I have only my memories and i know my WHOLE family loved Nanpa. This i will believe for the rest of my life and people who have opinions to the contrary shouldnt take that from me or any of my children who may read this in the future.

Yes, they all returned unsettled, unsure, looking for solace' in a church' or in a bottle of beer? it is sad but true' they have been betrayed and forgotten just for showing the world how to win wars in mean maori hard stylez

Sori Bro' but our freedom was lost when the treaty of waitangi was signed' and we have always had our pride and mana as Elite' Warlord' Maori Warriors. chur bro'

My Nanpa loved us. No one ever looked down at my grandfather they just didnt understand him and he never once felt he had to prove himself to them. My Father was his only son and loved his Dad immensely the love Nanpa had for people and his country expressed out in all that he did. He didnt care what anyone said he did what he did because that was who he was. I know how to get Kai from a river, a garden and the sea he taught me this. he taught us all this. We knew he was in the Army but he fought in it so we didnt have to. I am happy and proud of my tipuna, the world is a different place now as it was then and they fought everything that came their way to give me what i have.. Nanpa did good for I stand proud of who i am, mistakes, faults and all.

I'm starting a journal of my life for my children and there children's children etc I want them to know as much of our history and acknowledge where we came from and cover all parts of our whole whanau which also includes the Maori battalion, a milestone I want my future grandchildren to read and appreciate. I don't want generations to come loose this knowledge and would love a photo of the actual medals if they're still around please.