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Te hononga o te iwi kāinga ki ngā hōia
Tama Huata explains the significance of te haukāinga (and mothers) for the hōia – as seen through the eyes of his father, Padre Wi Huata.
Let me talk now about my father Te Awarangi Wi Te Tau Huata who was the padre of the 28th Māori Battalion. His work was work done for God, and it fell to him to write the letter to the families of those killed in battle. Most of the replies that he received back from families came from mothers. Wi Te Tau explained to us in the family that, when the soldiers were near death, their cries were always for their mothers. When they spoke, they said, “Padre, please remember me to my mother.” He would tell us that these were the bravest of the brave, those who died in battle in the war. They carried forth the prestige of their homes, the honour of their country. We must remember the pain and suffering of those who died in the World Wars.