Listen to an interview with Tahu Potiki Hopkinson on Radio New Zealand's Te Ahi Kaa
Name here corrected to legal name Tahu Potiki Komiti Hopkinson. He enlisted as Ngapotiki Tauhu Hopkinson and military files may have this detail.
Article by Michael Field, 'Maori Battalion member dies', 27 November 2013
"One of the last survivors of the 28th Maori Battalion has died, leaving just 21 men remaining.
Ngapotiki Tauhu Hopkinson, 88, died yesterday "whilst in the loving care of his whanau and nursing staff" at Kaiapoi Lodge near Christchurch.
A member of D Company, he once said "some Pakehas had difficulties pronouncing my name" and could not get their tongue around the vowels.
"That used to upset me a bit," he said.
"So I used to say call me Hoppie . . . and have been that ever since."
Hopkinson was born in Tuahiwi in North Canterbury and after leaving school in 1940 worked at the Kaiapoi freezing worksand then a stud farm before most of the men from the area joined the army.
"Young and old joined - most of the fellas who were killed were teenagers," he told the radio broadcaster Te Ahi Kaa.
The programme said he would not talk about the war years.
Hopkinson suffered disability while overseas and was not allowed to be formally discharged and when he returned he received a pension.
"It was only just pittance," he said
"[It] wouldn't have been so bad if they had given me my army rank, but no."
He said he suffered "war neurosis" for years after, a result of five years in the army.
After problems in civilian life, he was allowed to rejoin the army, serving in the artillery.
He later returned to Tuahiwi and farmed as well as raising nine children.
"We didn't have the almighty pill then," he said.
Hopkinson's body will lie in state at the Tuahiwi Marae tomorrow as part of his tangi."