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Maori Battalion remembered at service

Saturday 1 Dec 2012 12:23 p.m.

New Zealand’s 28th Maori Battalion performing the haka in Egypt in June 1941 (Photo: AAP)

New Zealand’s 28th Maori Battalion performing the haka in Egypt in June 1941 (Photo: AAP)

Tributes are being paid to members of the 28th Maori Battalion on the winding up of their national association this weekend.

Some 3600 men served in the battalion in campaigns across North Africa, Greece, Crete and Italy during World War II.

Surviving members attended a remembrance service at the National War Memorial in Wellington this morning and will have lunch at Pipitea Marae.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples said the winding up of the association was not the end of the Maori Battalion.

"Their exploits are recorded in song and haka, on films and tapes and in books, and on the website. They will continue to inspire future generations to give their utmost for their people and their nation," Dr Sharples said.

Spokesman Matt Te Pou said last month that 26 Maori Battalion veterans survived and less than half of them were able-bodied.

Winding up the national association did not affect the continuation of affiliated branches that included veterans of the 28th Battalion, he said.

Branches would be able to continue using the 28th Maori Battalion name as long as their membership included a 28th veteran.

NZN

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