National | ANZAC

Veteran calls for lives lost during NZ Land Wars to be honoured

Hundreds gathered at Muruika Cemetery in Rotorua to commemorate the soldiers from the Te Arawa region who went to war.

However, by remembering those who served their country, Te Arawa Māori Returned Services League president Te Kei Merito, also wants to see the lives of those who fought during the New Zealand Land Wars honoured the same as those on ANZAC Day.

Memories came flooding in of the brave warriors no longer present.

One hundred years since the end of the first world war, thousands of people continue to flock to Muruika cemetery to commemorate those brave warriors.

Amongst the many veterans of various world wars was the last surviving member of B-Company, Bom Gillies now 96 years old.

In addition to his love for his fallen comrades.

The Malay veteran says its time the thousands of lives lost in the New Zealand land wars to be honoured in the same way.

Merito says, "I feel for our ancestors who lost their lives. They were jailed without trial in South Island caves. Some died of hypothermia."

He says a permanent national commemoration is long overdue.