Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

You are here:

Navigate in: Māori | English

Curriculum level 7

Waiho i te toipoto, kaua i te toiroa

Let us keep close together, not far apart

Links to social studies

Strands: Identity, Culture and Organisation, and Continuity and Change.

  • Level 7 social studies achievement objective: Understand how communities and nations meet their responsibilities and exercise their rights in local, national and global contexts.
  • Level 7 history achievement objective: Understand how historical forces and movements have influenced the causes and consequences of events significant to New Zealanders.

Key concepts

Social justice and bereavement.

Focus of learning

Tuini Ngāwai with kapahaka troupe outside marae. Photo courtesy of Te Tairāwhiti Museum.

In this unit, students explore the idea of social justice as related to Māori communities meeting their responsibility as citizens of New Zealand.

People had different reasons for enlisting in the armed forces. One of the consequences of enlistment was the loss of male Māori role models, which contributed to changes within Māori communities. Expressions of loss and grief can be heard in waiata of the time.

The drive for Māori to be recognised as equal citizens of Aotearoa played a major role in respect of the involvement of Māori, specifically the 28th (Māori) Battalion, in the Second World War. Sir Apirana Ngata was influential in this drive for the recognition of Māori as equal citizens with their Pākehā compatriots.

Princess Te Puea was also keen for the recognition of Māori as equal citizens of Aotearoa, but she was against sending Māori troops to the international war arena in order to achieve this. She was guided by the views of her grandfather, King Tawhiao, who, after making peace with the Crown in 1881, forbade Waikato to take up arms again. Princess Te Puea took this to mean never to fight again. She was also of the view that Waikato had ‘its own King’ and, therefore, didn’t need to ‘fight for the British King’.

Princess Te Puea feared for the loss of Māori male leaders on the home front, whereas Sir Apirana Ngata was of the view that this was a sacrifice that had to be made for the eventual betterment of all Māori.

Waiata written in the past retain their relevance over time, albeit with some alterations (to reflect the changing times, events, and people). Waiata about loss, grief, and loved ones have stood the test of time.

This unit focuses on the loss of Māori male leadership through death in war. Students are challenged to think critically about the differing reasons for going to war and what happened in the communities left behind. They explore the perspectives and values of a range of individuals, groups, and institutions.


Describing the significant aspects related to how communities and nations meet their responsibilities and exercise their rights.

Learning outcomes

Students could:


Explaining the perspectives and values that relate to how communities and nations meet their responsibilities and exercise their rights.

Learning outcomes

Students could:

  • Explain the differing viewpoints of Apirana Ngata, Taurekareka Henare MP and Princess Te Puea in relation to Māori fighting in the Second World War. (View Princess Te Puea’s perspective, which highlights the viewpoint of Te Puea on the participation of Waikato in the war plus the need to keep the home fires burning, and Who encouraged men to go to war? Why?, which explains why the MP in Te Taitokerau, Taurekareka Henare, encouraged men to enlist.)
  • Explore what the war might have been like from both the soldiers’ perspectives and the perspectives of those who remained in Aotearoa, for example, parents, wives/sweethearts, siblings, and pacifists. (View Te hononga o te iwi kāinga ki ngā hōia, where Tama Huata explains the significance to the soldiers of their homeland and their mothers, as recounted by his father, Padre Wi Huata.)


Analysing the social actions taken by communities and nations to meet their responsibilities and exercise their rights.

Learning outcomes

Students could:


Evaluating the significance of communities and nations meeting their responsibilities and exercising their rights.

Learning outcomes

Students could:

  • Examine the impact of the loss of male role models from Māori communities. (View Nolan Raihania – impact on community, where a veteran reminisces about the impact of the war on the community.)
  • Consider ways students could personally address the issue of leadership loss.