Whare Maumahara – Buy
In the Treaty grounds at Waitangi, I found the Te Rau Aroha Museum. Officially opened on the 5th February, 2020 the Museum aims to foster the understanding and struggle by Māori Battalion soldiers for equality as citizens in their own country. Now, there aren’t many places that I would call humbling, however the Te Rau Aroha Museum is one of them. During World War II the name Te Rau Aroha was given to a mobile canteen truck, which was sent from New Zealand to Māori Battalion soldiers who served on the battlefields overseas. Once near the front, the canteen became a place for soldiers to gather and hear the latest news broadcasts, while enjoying sweet treats from home. When a name had to be chosen for the new museum in the Treaty Grounds, naming it after the treasured Te Rau Aroha canteen truck seemed a logical choice.
Among the galleries inside the Museum, one is a Whare Maumahara or Memorial Gallery which is designed for visitors, descendants and whānau. The feature within the Memorial is a massive and extremely impressive large-scale wooden artform made up of thousands of pieces of beech kauri that fills the room. Surrounding this on all four walls are thousands of names of men who served in the Māori Pioneer Battalion and the 28 Māori Battalion from both World Wars. Feeling humbled, I left the museum and headed for an extremely large waka.