Waiōhau School Memorial

Waiōhau School Memorial

Memorial statue Memorial plaque Memorial plaque Memorial plaque

A striking memorial at the remote Waiōhau School (Te Kura O Waiohau) in inland Bay of Plenty honours 28th Māori Battalion soldier Paora Rua, who was killed in Crete on 23 May 1941.

The concrete obelisk stands on a stepped base with a carved flagpole alongside. It is surmounted by a painted wooden carving of a soldier. Two marble plaques are set into the memorial. One is inscribed: “In memory of / Paora Rua / killed in action / Crete / May 23rd 1941 / aged 28”; the other: “By this memorial / remember and honour / Paora Rua / who died / for his country.”

Waiōhau School was opened in May 1918. A bronze plaque acknowledging the original gift of land for the school was placed on the memorial during the school’s jubilee celebrations on 13 April 1968.

See: Reo Taakiwa, ‘Waiohau’, Te Ao Hou, no. 15, July 1956, p. 43; Waiohau School Jubilee, 1918-1968, Whakatane, 1968, p. 2; E. Little, ‘Memories of Waiohau’, Te Ao Hou, no. 73, July 1973, pp. 27-32; E. Little, ‘Memories of Waiohau’, Historical Review, vol. 22, no. 1, May 1974, pp. 30-7.

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