Keeping the mana of C Company in the East Coast

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Walton Walker, chairman of Ngā Taonga a Ngā Tama Toa Trust, who represent descendants of C Company, has condemned a move by the Waitangi National Trust to build a memorial house for all companies of the 28th Māori Battalion at Waitangi without the support of C Company descendants.

Walker says, “Our stance is that the treasures and the essential life-force of our fathers who went to the Second World War with C Company will remain here at home.”

Walker says that it was difficult enough getting their elders to agree to C Company House and the Ngā Tama Toa book.

“Who are we to say now that we should take these taonga or the essential life-force of this house, of the books, of the thoughts, of the verbal accounts within it, to sit in another place in the North?” says Walker.

In 2018, Ngā Taonga o Ngā Tama Toa Trust held meetings with C Company descendants in Te Whānau-a-Apanui, Ngāti Porou and Tūranganui-a-Kiwa to get feedback on a proposed 28th Māori Battalion memorial house at Waitangi.

C Company descendants have no reservations in supporting a memorial house for A Company to be built in the North.   

“But for all companies, for C Company, to be included in a memorial house of the 28th Māori Battalion, we of C Company do not agree,” says Walker.

Yesterday, stones were laid down in Waitangi to mark an area where a war memorial house will be erected.

“There are many agents from the East Coast from Ngāti Porou there at the meeting, but let's not mistake that as an agreement with this matter,” says Walker.

The Waitangi National Trust turned down a request from Te Kāea for comment on the matter.