Ōmarumutu War Memorial Hall

Ōmarumutu War Memorial Hall

Roll of Honour Memorial Memorial Memorial

Minister of Māori Affairs Ralph Hanan opened the Ōmarumutu War Memorial Hall at Ōmarumutu Marae, near Opotiki, on 18 March 1961. Bishop Wiremu Panapa and the Rev. Rangi Ehu unveiled the memorial tablet inside the hall.

The hall has a plain outside appearance, but is richly decorated with carvings, tukutuku and kōwhaiwhai inside. This work was undertaken by local people under the supervision of Pine Taiapa. The memorial tablet was presented to the Ngatirua and Whakatōhea tribes by the Auckland branch of the 28 Māori Battalion Association. It reads: “Dedicated to the memory / of servicemen Maori and Pakeha who / gave their lives in three wars. / Boer War 1899-1902 / World War I 1914-1918 / World War II 1939 – 1945”.

A memorial cenotaph had previously been erected on the marae. A white-painted column mounted on a stepped concrete base and surmounted by a funerary urn. The original inscription read as follows:

“He Whakamahara / Tanga Mo / Pte. H.O. Coleman / Pte. P. Tai / L/C J.S. Johnson / Pte. T. Tupura / Pte. W. Moore / Pte S. Moore / They shed sweat and / blood for us”. Sometime after 1978, additional names were added: “In loving memory / World War II, Vietnam / Coleman, H. Sgt [indecipherable] / Coleman, J.T. Cpl. / Coleman, N. Pte. // Te Hau M. Sgt. / O.B.E. J.P. B.A. / Mihaere H. Pte / Mihaere K. Pte.”

Nearby is a granite memorial stone, also mounted on a concrete base. This lists the names of four men killed overseas during the Second World War: Private Peter Tai, Corporal J.S. Johnson, Private Jack Tai and Flying Officer J.P. Morgan.

See: ‘Maori Hall Opened’ [unsourced clipping], 21/3/1961, Auckland Libraries NZ Scrapbook, vol. 17, December 1960-, p. 124; Tiwai Amoamo, Tuhi Tipene and Roger Neich, ‘The Complementarity of History and Art in Tūtāmure Meeting-House, Ōmarumutu Marae’, Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol. 93, no. 1, March 1984, pp. 5-37.

Community contributions

No comments have been posted about Ōmarumutu War Memorial Hall

What do you know?