James Wirihana Takarangi

Ingoa whānau
Ingoa tuatahi
James Wirihana
E mōhiotia ana ki te ingoa
Jim | Hemi
Date of death
Place of death
Wanganui, New Zealand

World War 2

Tau Rangatū
Wāhi noho
3 Anzac Parade, Whanganui, New Zealand
Whanaunga tino tata i te wā o te kuhunga
Mr A. Takarangi (father), 3 Anzac Parade, Whanganui, New Zealand
Ngā tuhinga

Editor's note: his middle name was incorrectly recorded on enlistment as Wirihaua.

See Tributes flow for Māori Battalion President (TVNZ)

Takupu (3)

Tupoho Kaumatua's name was:James Wirihana Takarangi known as Hemi or Jimmy. He passed away in Whanganui Hospital on the 25th January 2009 aged 82.Mr Takarangi, one of just three Maori Battalion veterans left in Whanganui and National President of the Maori Battalion, was to welcome Maori Battalion veterans and their whanau to Putiki marae for their reunion in late February.After an RSA service at Pakaitore-Moutoa Gardens, Mr Takarangi's body was taken by waka to Putiki marae.His body will lie in state at the marae until his funeral 28 January 2009.Hone Tamehana, the chairman of the Putiki marae committee and Mr Takarangi's nephew, said the waka journey was a fitting tribute to his uncle.Uncle Hemi was always involved when the waka ama was on the river.It was a special request from the hapu of Tupoho to have Uncle taken down the river to Putiki.Mr Tamehana said Mr Takarangi would be missed by his whanau, hapu and the whole iwi.With him going, there is a huge gap. He was one of the first appointed kaumatua on the Whanganui River, and he had so much wisdom.Mr Takarangi was born in Whanganui in 1926.He went to the Putiki Mission School, Queen's Park School, Wanganui Intermediate and Wanganui Technical College, before joining the army at the age of 18.During World War 2 he saw active service in Italy, North Africa and Japan.He also gave invaluable service to Maori and the wider community of Whanganui, including giving evidence at the Whanganui hearings before the Waitangi Tribunal.Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia also paid tribute to Mr Takarangi yesterday. She said he was a great source of certainty and of strength to all iwi of Whanganui.He was a staunch defender of tikanga on the marae, and a mentor to younger generations.Mrs Turia said Mr Takarangi was a very special man. He was a loved kaumatua who charmed us with his cheeky jokes. He shared with us all so many unique memories of an era and experiences that must not be forgotten.Sourced from the Whanganui Chronicle 27th January 2009

It is all likely that Jimmy enlisted with names shown on record.  For purely practical reasons Military records will specify as informed by the recruit.  In 2006 Jimmy participated in an audio/visual interview. Content reveals aspects of his service. Along with Bill Potaka-Osborne, Jimmy supported members of more recent theatres, that in 2004-5 worked to establish the 28th Maori Battalion Association Whanganui Branch. Material in hand, will be provided for this site. 


I beg to differ in response to your email. Many Maori names have been transcribed incorrectly. I doubt very much that my Uncle spelt his middle name incorrectly, it is a whanau name and spelling it incorrectly would have been an insult to his whanau, a whanau who are very proud and held in high regard.. I have also corrected my great grand uncles name who’s middle name was also spelt incorrectly.
Military records do get it wrong. Not only with spelling but in my own fathers records they report in his medical examination that he had brown eyes. His eyes were green, not even a hazel colour that may have been mistaken for brown but green.