Maori Battalion website seeks record of each soldier.

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THE 28 Maori Battalion website plans to keep a photo record of every soldier in the 3600-member battalion.

Former Ngati Porou chief executive and author of Nga Tama Toa Monty Soutar, who last month became the co-ordinator of the website, says with the help of the infantrymens families the 28th could be the first to post a photo of each man who served.

Manatu Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage in partnership with Te Puni Kokiri, has set up the website.

We want to promote the site as a portal to everything to do with the Maori Battalion, said Dr Soutar.

The Ngati Porou historian says the site aims to increase its users and promote the preservation of family memorabilia for the future.

It has taken 15 years to gather 900 individual photographs.

With advances in technology where people can scan photos and send them direct to the website, we hope to reach the 3600 target a lot faster, says Dr Soutar.

The website has seen steady traffic since July last year averaging 3000 visitors a month.

Users have contributed their own stories, memories and photographs, helping to build the sites content.

The website includes an interactive map, photos, diaries, school resources, and a selection of audio files (oral history, radio recordings and waiata) and videos.

Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Nga Taonga Korero has made its Maori Battalion recordings available to the website in digital form.

There are 43 veterans living today. One of their number passed away last week. John Keha Palmer died at his home in Pahiatua at the age of 90.

Mr Palmer was a member of the Otaki-based Tahiwi family with links also to Gilbert Mair, the commander of Te Arawa forces in the New Zealand wars.

Photos can be contributed via the website or sent to 28 Maori Battalion Website, Manatu Taonga the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, PO Box 5364, Wellington,

1 COMMENT

  1. What about the first world war 's Maori Battalion which my dad was in?
    I live in Australia and stumble don this by chance

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