Te Arawa Soldiers Memorial
Public Art : Te Arawa memorial (also known as the
King George V memorial)
Sculptor : © W.H. Feldon
Description : The eight sided, 5
tiered, Gothic style monument is perched on top of three granite steps and was carved from
Sydney grit stone. The first tier (going from the bottom) which includes the steps features and inset carving
of a traditional Arawa canoe with the words "te upoko i takaia i te akatea" which is a saying odten used for a
brave warrior meaning :—He binds up his head, or wounds, and fights away.
The second tier features eight black marble panels bearing the 37 names of sons of the
Arawa people who died fighting for their country in World War I. It also features a carving of the
Maori Regimental Badge of World War I, which includes two Maori weapons crossed like swords under the British
crown. On the badge is the motto "Te Hokowhitu a Tu" which signified the 140 warriors of the war god,
The third tier features, in the front, carvings of Edward VII, Victoria, and George V.
The carvings on the other side are of a Red Cross nurse holding a wreath, flanked by two soldiers representing the
navy and army.
The next tier features 4 historical panels telling the story of the Te Arawa people.
The first carving is of Te Kuraimonoa a beautiful maiden who Pūhaorangi, a celestial being had descended from the
heavens to sleep with. This is who the Arawa people believe they descended from. If you look very closely at
the carving you will see there is a star above her head (and just below King George V's feet), which
represents the star which guided her people from their homeland of Hawaiki in Polynesia to the North Island of New
Zealand following a war many centuries ago.
The second carving is of Reverend Thomas Chapman , from the Church Missionary Society, who
established himself at Ohinemutu in 1835. He was the first missionary to venture among the Arawa people and was one
of the strongest forces for cultural change in the area.
The third carving is a collection of traditional Maori war weapons.
The final carving on this tier is of a seated Governor Hobson signing the Treaty of Waitangi on 6th
February, 1840, with a standing chief Tupara Tanira watching on. Tanira was the only Arawa chief who signed the
treaty. Above Governor Hobson the British flag is flying.
Finally the 5th and final tier right at the top of the memorial features a stone
carving of King George V in regal dress with his left hand clasping a sword.
Date Unveiled : The Te Arawa memorial was unveiled by
H.R.H. the Duke of York (later to become King George VI) on the 28th of February, 1927.
Location: The Te Arawa memorial can be found in the
Government Gardens near the museum, Rotorua, New Zealand.
The Duke of York
of their sons
who in the
the cause of
and their king.
Treaty of Waitangi : The Treaty of Waitangi was basically an
agreement between the British Crown and various Maori chiefs from the North Island to elect a British Governor
of New Zealand and in return they would recognise Māori ownership of their lands and other properties, and
give the Māori the same rights as British subjects.That was all well and good but the Treaty basically gave Britain
sovereignty over New Zealand, and gave the Governor the right to govern the country. Further to the confusion it
was later discovered that the English and Maori versions of the treaty differed significantly. Surprise, surprise!
Maori believed they gave up their right of governance in return for protection, but without giving up their
authority to manage their own affairs. Despite several chiefs refusing to sign the treaty (including chief Te
Arawa) on 21 May 1840, Lieutenant-Governor Hobson proclaimed sovereignty over the whole country.
1st Tier - featuring a carving of a traditional Arawa canoe.
2nd Tier featuring the Maori Regimental Badge of World War I
3rd Tier carvings of Edward VII, Victoria, and George V
4th tier featuring the signing ot the controversial Treaty of
5th Tier features a stone carving of King George V
LEST WE FORGET