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Badges of Māori units in the First World War


Badges of the Maori Contingent (left) and New Zealand Maori (Pioneer) Battalion.

The crest of the Maori Contingent includes two traditional Māori weapons, the taiaha and tewhatewha, crossed through a crown. The motto 'Te Hokowhitu a Tū' signified the 140 warriors of the war god, Tu-mata-uenga. The initials 'NZNC' were used because 'NZMC' would have invited confusion with the Medical Corps.

The Pioneers' badge features a Māori warrior's face above a crossed pick and axe, flanked by fernleaf fronds and the words 'NZ Pioneers'.


Image: Private Collection. Not to be reused without permission.

How to cite this page

Badges of Māori units in the First World War, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated