Each year, ANZAC Day comes and goes … a time to remember our overseas veterans. But what about our Land Wars veterans? Will we ever remember them?
Well, we might, it seems. Māori ‘rebels’ who fought against the British Army and Armed Constabulary during the Land Wars may soon be officially recognized.
Recent calls have been made for the government to remember all Māori war veterans, not just those who fought overseas on the side of the Crown. See here for recent press article – Māori War veterans
Quite a few Māori died of course, during the Land Wars. Many of those were fighting alongside the Armed Constabulary, as well as against it. See here for more, Remembering our Māori Dead.
It is not at all clear how such remembrance will be arranged. But the idea seems timely and is similar to a proposal, raised in the 1990s, that a special Māori War Memorial be erected in Auckland.
Back then, negotiations were to have been arranged with iwi. But opposition from some Māori saw its demise.
Still, with all the publicity now being given to remembering the Land Wars, especially to our veterans, perhaps the time for such a Māori War Memorial is now right.
However – it goes without saying, surely – that Māori historians and iwi must be consulted.