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Students to rise to The Challenge in honour of fallen heroes

Hon Hekia Parata
Minister of Education

5 March 2014

Students to rise to The Challenge in honour of fallen heroes

Education Minister Hekia Parata today launched a new school competition to continue the living legacy and heroism of the 28th (Māori) Battalion.

The new competition, called The Challenge, is an opportunity for Year 7 – 13 students to keep the Battalion’s legacy alive using 21st Century technology, by reflecting on the triumphs and tragedies of those brave young men.

This year is the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino where the 28th Battalion fought. Students are invited to create a short film, musical composition, graphic novel or other presentation about that battle, as if they are contributing a piece for a new museum.

“The 28th (Māori) Battalion was one of this country’s finest fighting forces. New Zealanders have long seen the achievements and bravery of its soldiers as a source of great example and inspiration,” Ms Parata says.

“To honour these soldiers’ spirit and sacrifice, we must ensure they are remembered by future generations, especially tomorrow’s leaders.

“Since 1948, the Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarship Fund Board has supported Māori achievers who exemplify the spirit of the Battalion and the traits that earned them an honoured place in New Zealand’s history. This is the first year the Board has offered The Challenge,” Ms Parata says.

“This is an opportunity for students to connect with their tipuna and iconic New Zealanders. I am grateful to the teachers who helped to develop this year’s theme, categories and evaluation tool.”

Students can submit individual or small group entries in any of the ten media categories, in either English or Māori. An overall prize of $1,500 will help to publish the most outstanding entry. Cash prizes will also be awarded to category winners. Entries close in September 2014.


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