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VC A Fitting Tribute For Maori War Hero

26 May 2006

VC A Fitting Tribute For Maori War Hero

New Zealand First is pleased that a submission has been sent to Buckingham Palace requesting that World War II soldier Haane Manahi be reconsidered for a Victoria Cross.

“Sergeant Manahi played a crucial role in defeating Italian forces at the battle for Takrouna in 1943, and was recommended for a Victoria Cross at the time,” said Maori Affairs spokesperson Pita Paraone.

“For unknown reasons, the decision was made to award him a Distinguished Conduct Medal instead. The campaign to get this decision reversed has been going on for decades, with no result until now.

“Out of frustration his supporters, which include members of his family, his 28th Maori Battalion and the Arawa tribal conference, applied to the Waitangi Tribunal to consider the case. The ensuing report recommended that the Government and Manahi’s supporters prepare a joint case to go to Buckingham Palace.

“It has been a long and arduous process for all those involved, but I think the important thing is to recognise the outstanding valour of this man. There are other unsung heroes who also deserve to be considered, and it’s important that such people are given their due recognition without consideration of politics or geography.

“I hope that whoever considers this application at Buckingham Palace sees fit to honour this honourable man,” said Mr Paraone.


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