Title: Te Hokowhitu a Tu
The Maori Pioneer Battalion in the First World War
Author: Christopher Pugsley
Specs: 297 x 210 mm (A4) portrait, PB, 148 pp, b&w
Published: April 2015; Reprinted 20 March 2018
Maori soldiers signing up for the First World War representing a formidable fighting force – Te Hokowhitu a Tu, or the Seventy twice-told warriors of the war god, Tumatauenga. Paternalistic concern kept the Maori Pioneer Battalion kept most back from the front lines as support troops, but their war efforts won them rights as full citizens of their homelands.
Drawing on rare archival material and previously unpublished diaries and letters, Te Hokowhitu a Tu is the authoritative account of Maori and Pacific Islanders in the First World War, and balances the wider story of the Pioneer Battalion’s exploits with a portrait of daily life for soldiers who laboured not only against the enemy but also racism behind their own lines.