Māori at Gallipoli – TedX talk “Forgotten grandfathers: Maori men of WW1”

Photograph of the Māori Contingent names on the Chunuk Bair memorial at Gallipoli

Photograph of the Māori Contingent names on the Chunuk Bair memorial at Gallipoli

Kia ora koutou

Last month I gave a talk at a TedX conference in Tauranga where I discussed some of the research I’ve undertaken as part of our exhibition development project here for an exhibition about Gallipoli (due to open April next year at Te Papa). I’ve been very busy assembling potential Māori content for that exhibition alongside some very busy curators, who have been labouring over how to tell this epic story.

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It has been very rewarding working with the archival material available because of the careful diligence of places such as Cenotaph, New Zealand Archives, Alexander Turnbull Library, Auckland Libraries, National Army Museum, and the Auckland War Memorial Museum, that have preserved and documented most of the information that researchers like myself are able to use. Many of the resources are drawn from either the army records captured at the time, diaries of individual soldiers, contemporary media reports, and archived photographs, among others.


However, one of the most gratifying experiences as part of the research process has been to track down descendants of Māori soldiers to find out information that was never caught as part of the official Army administration and media channels. The talk I gave at TedX reflects on some of this research and the power that these small yet significant stories, that have been kept burning within collective family memory, still have 100 years later.


I’ve included copies of some of the slides I used in my presentation. And by all means, if you have any stories to share, please feel free to contact me at the museum: puawai.cairns@tepapa.govt.nz.


Mauri ora 🙂


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One Response

  1. June M Bullivant OAM

    I am helping my husband arrange a RSL Ceremony for ANZAC Day, we have a New Zealand component to it, we have a young girl to sing your anthem, I thought instead of purchasing a wreath for her to lay, I thought I might frame a photograph for her to put on the cenotaph, I like you photo of the 500 plus Maori boys, can I have permission to use please. Is that okay to do?


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