National | 28th Māori Battalion

28th Māori Battalion Memorial flag finally flies with battle honours

Sir Bom Gillies flies the flag high.

The 28th (Māori) Battalion’s Battle Honours Memorial flag with the battalion’s 42 Campaign and Battle Honours were presented and recognised at Muruika, Ohinemutu today for the first time today.

“It’s settled, we got it, it’s done, yes it has been completed,” Maōri Battalion hōia mōrehu Tā Robert Bom Gillies said.

The award of campaign and battle honours are an acknowledgment by the sovereign, which recognises the presence of a battalion and allows the battalion to display its battle and military traditions but the 28th (Māori) Battalion’s campaign and battle honours have never been publically displayed.

The lead researcher on the establishment of the flag was Dr Harawira Pearless.

“We made this flag together. Tā Bom wanted us to follow Māori protocol and not that of the Treaty partner.

For the fallen

“We were told that there was no line of inheritance between the 28th Maori Battalion and a successor unit to receive these campaign and battle honours.

“However, Tā Bom has accepted the flag on behalf of his fallen soldiers.”

In displaying the campaign and battle honours for the first time, Tā Robert’s hope is that the New Zealand Defence Force 28th (Māori) Battalion flag and the 28th (Māori) Battalion Battle Honours Memorial flag stand side by side as pou maumahara that acknowledge the parallel sacrifices of tangata Tiriti and tangata Tikanga Māori during World War II.

Following the Kawe Mate Taonga Tūpāpaku at Muruika Urupā, Tā Bom will be presenting the 28th (Māori) Battalion Battle Honours Memorial Flag at Waitangi on February 18 and thereafter a kawe mate will be carried out to the Kamupene C and Kamupene D rohe before the taonga tūpāpaku returns to Waitangi on Anzac Day.