This citation for Pou Rakena's Distinguished Conduct Medal is reproduced from the April 1990 NZ 28 Maori Battalion Golden Jubilee Reunion booklet:
801843 Corporal Pou Rakena D.C.M.
During the crossing of the SENIO river on the night 9 April, 1945, Cpl RAKENA's platoon Sgt was mortally wounded. Behind the senior section leader he took over the platoon. The platoon came under very intense small arms fire. With complete disregard for his own personal safety he charge two enemy Spandau posts single handed, killing the entire crews. The remaining spandau posts surrendered. After having rallied his men the enemy began to bazooka them. Displaying outstanding courage Cpl RAKENA went forward firing his bren gun from the hip, capturing the bazooka and killing the crew. This opposition having being eliminated the whole Coy advanced. During the whole advance to MASSA LOMBARDA this NCO showed courage of the highest order and was a constant source of inspiration to his Coy. The success of his Coy was due in no small measure to his initiative and superb leadership.