Read a biography of Sir James Hēnare, in English and te reo Māori, on the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography = Ngā Tāngata Taumata Rau website
These articles appeared in the April 1990 NZ 28 Maori Battalion Golden Jubilee Reunion booklet:
10th C.O. - HENARE, James Clendon, DS0, MID
Born Motatau, 18th November 1911. Entered the Army in 1940, helped train and then sail with the 5th Reinforcements from Papakura Military Camp, April 1941.
Until he was appointed Battalion 2 I/C in November, 1944 Jim spent most of his time with 'A' Company, for a short period as a platoon commander, but mostly as 2 I/C or Company Commander. He led the company in its last action in North Africa and at Orsogna and Cassino.
When Jim Henare became 2nd in Command to Colonel Awatere it was a case of almost opposites combining to establish a worthy team, and where Awatere relinquished his command to join a furlough draft in June 1945, the Battalion could have had no more appropriate a leader than Jim Henare to supervise, to organize and to lead the Maori Battalion home.
POROPOROAKI - Obituaries
JAMES CLENDON HENARE, KBE, DSO, MID, DLitt (Hon), Regimental No. 63390, was born at Motatau, 18th November 1911 and died at Kawakawa 2nd April 1989 aged 78. He was the youngest son of Tau and Hera Henare. His father was a member of parliament for Northern Maori 1913-1938.
Jim was an Elder of Tai Tokerau and Paramount Chief. He was descended from chiefs and military men on both sides and was early trained at the feet of his elders in the ways of the Wharewananga. He had blood ties with Tai Tokerau, especially Ngapuhi, Ngati Kakungunu, Rongo Whakaata, Tuhoe, Taranaki, Tuwharetoa and Waikato.
His early schooling was at Motatau and his post primary was at Sacred Heart College in Auckland. His tertiary education was at Massey Agricultural College. Sir James was early involved in Maori Committees: the Te Runanga o Rangitira o Te Tiriti o Waitangi the council of descendants of chiefs who signed the Treaty, and the Young Maori Leaders Conference.
Jim enlisted in the Army at the outbreak of World War II and brought the Battalion home to New Zealand as Lieutenant Colonel and Commander of 28 NZ (Maori) Battalion. Apart from five years with Maori Affairs as a Community Welfare Officer in the early 1950's, Jim and his wife Rose, stayed to work their farm at Motatau and bring up their family until they retired in 1974.
When Sir James and Lady Henare celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1983, Sir James paid tribute to his Lady Rose as an extraordinary woman without whom he would have achieved nothing.
Sir James made a tremendous contribution to national life. He was a member of the Waitangi National Trust 1940, twenty years chairman of Tai Tokerau Maori Trust Board, twenty years on the Auckland Anglican Synod and Councilor of Bay of Islands County Council. He served on the Geographic Board, Historic Places Trust, Advisory Committee on Broadcasting, Returned Services Association and Federated Farmers. He was patron of Te Kohanga Reo National Trust and toured the USA with Te Maori.
He will be remembered as one of Maoridom's greatest leaders. He is said to have "walked easily in both worlds, Maori and Pakeha commanding respect, for he combined the best of the two cultures"
"Probably his strongest passion was Waitangi with his unswerving belief in the Treaty and all it embodied."
Poroporoaki Mo Ta Himi Henare
Whakaronga ake ahau ki te ngunguru o nga Tai e timu ana ki waho o Pareikura. Kua ngaro Ie kaka wahanui, te manu liutiu kua riro i Ie ripo o Ie Tai. Haere e te Toka tu moana kauria atu te moana wairua o Whitiwhiti-a-Roa. Au maanu atu koe ki te weheru tanga o nga mano. E noho whakataa koe ito wairua i runga o te One-o-Tarei. Ka aupiki atu ai koe ki runga i te maunga o Pekahuhu. Haere e te tamaiti a Tumatauenga i whawhaitia ai e koe e mura o te pakanga.E tiraha mai ra 0 hoa, tuakana o teina i runga o nga kahiwi me nga raorao o te papa i kawhakitia ai te kauwae o nanakia. Hoki atu ki o Tupuna, hoki atu e Himi ki te mana, ki te ihi, kitewehi. KoNgaitakoto,koTePatulwhara,koteAupouri. Na ratou te putiputi ka puta koe lei te Taiao. Nga Ngatihine, nga Ngati Te Ara, nga uri o Hineamaru, na ratou i kato, na nga uri o Rahiri e. Waihoki katohiakoe ki te tohi a Karakawhati. TaHimiHenareTeMatua otemotu.Te hoa otemotu - te papa o te motu. Noho whakawairua mai koe i runga o Takapuna.
The citation for Major James Hēnare's DSO, 1945:
Army No: 63390 - Major James Clendon Henare DSO. Major Henare has fought with 28 NZ (Maori) Bn for nearly four years. He has been a platoon commander and company commander and has always shown fearlessness and courage of the highest order. He commanded one of the companies which took part in the attack on CASSINO railway station on 15 Feb, 1944. In this battle, very heavy opposition was met and it was only by superb courage that Maj HENARE was able to lead his men on to their objective despite many casualties from mines. His complete fearlessness in this action was an example to all about him. Later he commanded his company in the RIMINI battle with equal gallantry. He then became second in command and temporarily took over command of the battalion between the R. REMO and the R. PO on the 23 Apr. 1945 where his courage and energy in spired a tired battalion to new efforts and resulted in the mopping up of the enemy SOUTH of the R. PO. Maj HENARE's bravery has throughout his service been an example to the whole battalion.