Kahungunu War Memorial Meeting House, Nūhaka

Kahungunu War Memorial Meeting House, Nūhaka Kahungunu War Memorial Meeting House, Nūhaka

Prime Minister Peter Fraser opened Kahungunu War Memorial Meeting House at Nūhaka on 27 August 1949. The meeting house was built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (‘Mormon Church’), with some support from local Māori land trusts. It was dedicated to Ngāti Kahungunu servicemen who had died during both world wars. The carvings were by Pine and John Taiapa.

In 1960 the church proposed transferring the building to Hawaii to form part of a village showcasing Pacific cultures but, after some controversy, eventually gifted both the building and the land around it to the Nūhaka community.

The roll of honour displayed in the meeting house is of relatively recent origin. It lists both Māori and Pakeha from the area who served in various wars: one man (Henare Mihingare) who served in the ‘Maori Wars’ [sic], a total of 77 men who served in the First World War; a total of 109 men and one woman (Sister J.K. Nepia) who served in the Second World War; eight men who served in Korea; and one man who served in Vietnam (D.E. Nepia).

See: ‘Opening of Nūhaka Meeting House’, National Film Unit, Weekly Review, no. 420 (Archives NZ); The Nuhaka Meeting House’, Gisborne Photo News, no. 77, 3 November 1960; Nuhaka School, 1898-1998, Wairoa, 1998, p. 210; Wairoa: A Pictorial History, Wairoa, 2000, p. 53.

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