Return of the Maori (Pioneer) Battalion, 1919

This photograph shows the return of the Maori (Pioneer) Battalion to Putiki pā, Whanganui, in 1919. The Moutoa flag is in the centre. This flag was presented in 1865 by the ladies of Whanganui to lower Whanganui iwi to mark their success at Moutoa Island in 1864 against Pai Mārire warriors who threatened the settlement of Whanganui.

The New Zealand Maori (Pioneer) Battalion was the only battalion of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force to return to New Zealand as a complete unit. Because of this, it received a rousing welcome home with parades and receptions throughout the country. A Maori Pioneer rugby team toured the country, playing a series of provincial games.

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