Haane Te Rauawa Manahi

Ingoa whānau
Ingoa tuatahi
Haane Te Rauawa
Date of death
Place of death
Te Puke area, New Zealand

World War 2

Tau Rangatū
Wāhi noho
Ohinemutu, Rotorua, New Zealand
Whanaunga tino tata i te wā o te kuhunga
Mrs Rangi Awatea Manahi (wife), Ohinemutu, Rotorua, New Zealand
Ngā tuhinga

Read a biography of Manahi, in English and te reo Māori, on the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography = Ngā Tāngata Taumata Rau website

Takupu (1)

The reason why my father was denied the Victoria Cross for his actions in Takrouna has always been a mystery to myself, my whanaunga, iwi and others who knew the details of his assault with other members of the 28th Maori Battalion on a heavily defended hill in North Africa. Many people, both Maori and Pakeha have waged a long and vigorous effort to have his actions recognised and their work is very much appreciated by the Manahi whanau. Nga mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa mo nga mahi taumaha i mahia nei e koutou mo toku papa. Dad however would have wondered what all the fuss was about. He never considered the matter to be very important at all and indicated that we shouldn't trouble ourselves about it. My tuakana Rau and I remember that dad spoke very little of the war and even less of his contributions to the allied effort. Only now am I starting to understand the wisdom of his humility. Most of what I heard about my father's actions during the war was spoken of by his friends and whanaunga who fought alongside him in the Battalion and from reading books. I have heard a number of theories about why the VC was denied my father, but I have to concede in myself that I don't think the real reason will ever be known. Perhaps a dusty military record buried in some archive in England will reveal why an unknown person downgraded his recommendation for a Victoria Cross to a Distinguished Conduct Medal, despite the supportive recommendations of four Generals, a Field Marshall and the undoubted quality and nature of dad's actions. But my father was not alone on Takrouna during those days of fierce battle. Others were there as well, and they also showed exemplary courage and commitment under heavy fire. Some of them paid the supreme price by spilling their blood and falling upon a foreign land - but their memories will continue to survive strongly within the hearts and stories of their whanau, hapu and iwi. Perhaps this is the enduring gift that the 28th Maori Battalion has left us as a people. At the end of the day, maybe it is not the medal that is important. What is important is that all of those who fought overseas are remembered for their sacrifices and that their stories are passed down from generation to generation. Thereby we can add and contribute to the vast pool of taonga that we as Maori can draw upon to add mana and strength of purpose to how we see ourselves as a people, and by which we can feel a rightful sense of pride that our rich culture has positively impacted a world that at times seems so easily to lose its way.