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Minister welcomes Maori Television's ANZAC effort

17 March 2006 Media Statement

Minister welcomes Maori Television's ANZAC Day effort

"Maori Television devoting it's entire broadcast on Tuesday 25th April to commemorate ANZAC Day 2006 is a significant undertaking" Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia said today.

"Maori have a history of being quick to volunteer for service in times of war. I'm pleased to see that Maori Television, in entering their third year on air are also displaying some speed in bringing to air stories of wars that have touched all our families in Aotearoa-New Zealand" Parekura Horomia said today.

"As a Maori kid growing up on the Coast, I was safe from having to participate in battles abroad, but Maori whanau throughout the motu have all been touched by war.

"It took a long time to hear the stories from those lucky enough to return from war. I'm hoping that come April 25th we will all get to see and hear some of these stories on air – many for the first time.

"2006 is the Year of the Veteran and also marks the 90th Anniversary of the Battle of Somme and the establishment of the organisation we older Kiwi's fondly know as the RSA (Royal New Zealand Returned Service's Association). In May of this year celebrations for the 65th Anniversary of the Battle of Crete will take place in Hania.

"Just over 7,700 New Zealanders took part in the battle for Crete; 619 of them were Maori. Of the Maori 244 were killed, wounded or taken prisoner.

"But those are the sad facts, and the one thing I know about my uncles who went away to the war and came back, is that they seldom talked about the bad times. Instead they talked about the good times, the humorous and sometimes mischievous things that they got up to.

"I'm confident that come this ANZAC Day we are in for a real treat on Maori Television. I'm looking forward to seeing a broadcast brought about by things tragic and times of war. But, from those not so good starts, we as a people, and as a nation have forged links with other peoples, other nations that have endured.

"It's important these stories are told and that the many men and women who gave and continue to serve this country are acknowledged. I will definitely be tuning in," Parekura said.

ENDS

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