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The New Zealand Wars: A History of the Maori Campaigns and the Pioneering Period: Volume II: The Hauhau Wars, (1864–72)


page 549

Mr. John Finlay, of Tokaora, Hawera, has done his district and the Dominion good service by his patriotic appeals for fitting recognition of those who fell in the Maori wars. A number of burial places of soldiers in the South Taranaki district were neglected or unmarked until Mr. Finlay took up the question in his excellent articles in the Hawera Star under the heading “Lest We Forget.” His appeals in the cause of those who had helped to make the country fit for white settlement were warmly supported by Mr. James Livingston, of Waipapa, and other South Taranaki residents, and the memorials at Ohawe, Waihi, and elsewhere were the result.

John Finlays are needed in other parts of the North Island. The soldiers' graves in most districts have been attended to carefully by the Department of Internal Affairs and its enthusiastic officer Miss Statham, but there are still unmarked places where soldiers were buried on the battlefields.

Equally important is the duty of indicating in some conspicuous way the sites of notable battlefields, and also the graves, where they can be located, of the gallant Maoris in such places as Orakau. The following are the principal battlefields requiring attention, a duty devolving in the first place on the local residents; public roads in every case pass through or alongside the old fortifications:—

Puketapu pa, Lake Omapere; Rua-pekapeka; No. 3 Redoubt, Huirangi, Waitara; Rangiriri; Rangiaowhia and Hairini; Gate Pa; Sentry Hill, Taranaki; Moturoa (near Waverley, West Coast). At these places and numerous others a wayside cross or other memorial is desirable in order to indicate the sites.