Willie Apiata’s Remarkable ANZAC Day Gift
Willie Apiata’s Remarkable ANZAC Day Gift to the Nation
Dr Pita Sharples and Hon Tariana Turia, Co-leaders of the Maori Party
Friday 24 April 2008
The Maori Party has tonight praised the incredible generosity of Corporal Willie Apiata in gifting the prestigious Victoria Cross Medal to the nation.
“His selfless action in sharing his honour with his country, is an inspiration to us all about people who live by time-honoured kaupapa, such as manaakitanga, kotahitanga, rangatiratanga” said Dr Sharples.
“His action in gifting his medal to future generations shows the enormous character of the man – a man who is always focused on the greater good” said Dr Sharples.
“Tomorrow, throughout Aotearoa, we will remember those who have sacrificed so much in the course of war” said Dr Pita Sharples.
“Tangata whenua recall particularly the heroic courage of the 28th Maori Battalion and the very substantial commitment made by Maori, who enlisted in such large numbers in their strong desire to pay the price of citizenship” said Dr Sharples.
“Corporal Apiata honours the legacy left by our veterans, the memory of the gallantry and legendary bravery of those who fought on foreign soils” said Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party.
“ANZAC Day is an extremely significant day to reflect on all of the lives lost, and the leaders who have fought on our behalf” said Mrs Turia.
“Every whanau has a relative who has fought in the many wars” said Mrs Turia.
“Today as we honour this courageous and humble man we also remember the many brave men and women such as Nancy Wake who fought for our freedoms”.
“We join Ngapuhi and the iwi he grew up with, Te Whanau-a-Apanui, in celebrating Willie Apiata's generosity to the nation”.
Note: ‘The Price of Citizenship’ was a book written in 1943, by Sir Apirana Ngata who believed that war service was the price that Maori played to be fully recognised as citizens of Aotearoa.