Ngātiwai World War II Servicemen and Women Remembered

A special project is underway to produce a digital book resource that captures the special contribution Ngātiwai servicemen and women made during World War II.  Ngātiwai Education Te Au Here o Tūkaiaia will be driving the project and anticipate it’s completion by the end of the year.  The book will feature a compilation of experiences of those serving in the Armed Forces, the NZ Women’s Land Army, the Home Guard and Coastwatch.  The project also hopes to capture the experiences of those who were left at home leading up to, during and after the war.

Paulette Wellington leads the project and is passionate about being able to document such an important part of Ngātiwai history. “We want to be able to feature at least two people from each marae area and would love whanau to come forward with their stories, photos or anecdotes of the exploits of their loved ones both serving overseas and at home.”

Paulette is mindful however that memories of the time leading up to, during and after the War may still be very sensitive for some and explains. “Whānau will want to have assurances about how information is used and we will use all care to ensure information is handled carefully but most importantly make sure we consult with kaumātua and kuia throughout the process.”

The digital book will contain individual web-files and some sound recordings of kaumātua and kuia as they reminisce about their experiences. These will also accompany information and photographs sourced from published material and anecdotes of whānau.  Although the book will only be available digitally to start with, funding will be sought to produce the book in print form.  This resource will be posted to the Ngātiwai Education website with digital audio and video clips.

 Ngātiwai Education have a team of researchers across the organisation who are currently consulting with kuia, kaumātua and whānau who have knowledge and experience in the areas covered by the research.  These researchers include Jess Ngatai, Petina Stone, Rodney Ngawaka, Wi Pirihi and Paulette Wellington.

If you would like to participate in this project or have any questions contact Paulette Wellington on 022 3709 495 or or one of our researchers

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