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Maori Party Supports Tribunal Report on Maori Hero

19 December 2005

Maori Party Supports Tribunal Report on Maori Battalion

Te Ururoa Flavell, Member of Parliament for Waiariki

Member of Parliament for Waiariki, Te Ururoa Flavell, welcomed the suggestion today from the Waitangi Tribunal, that the Crown should facilitate a joint research effort with the Manahi VC Committee to prepare a submission to the Palace for the award of the Victoria Cross to Lance-Sergeant Haane Te Rauawa Manahi.

"We will be urging the Government to take this matter up on behalf of Te Arawa/Ngati Raukawa and the Nation" said Te Ururoa Flavell, MP for Waiariki.

"Haane is a treasured son of Te Arawa - an outstanding leader and soldier of the 28th New Zealand Maori Battalion" said Mr Flavell.

"The battle of Takrouna is legendary - and within that the gallantry and courage of Haane Manahi in leading his platoon is recognised as one of our finest war-time moments".

"It is now a matter of public record that Manahi personally led a small platoon of Maori Battalion soliders up a steep, rocky pinnacle, climbing some 500 feet to capture an enemy stronghold".

"In recognition of his courage, Sergeant Manahi was recommended by three generals and a field marshall for a Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in war".

"It remains one of New Zealand's unsolved mysteries, why the award was downgraded to a Distinguished Conduct Medal" said Mr Flavell. "I take my hat off to the hard work of those who have sought to recognise the bravery of our World War II hero". "I welcome an honourable action by this Government, to recognise the long-standing injustice accorded to Te Arawa and Ngati Raukawa".

ENDS

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