About the project

He tohu whakamaumahara ki ō mātou tīpuna

The He Rau Mahara project was initiated to coincide with the New Zealand First World War Centenary, 2014-2019. Undertaken by the Whakapapa Unit at Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, He Rau Mahara brings together nearly three years of research into the remarkable history of Ngāi Tahu and New Zealand’s contribution to The First World War. 

He Rau Mahara translates as ‘memories’. ‘Rau’ is also the Māori word for 100, a fitting acknowledgement for centennial commemorations. In addition to this website, Whakapapa Ngāi Tahu have published special edition hard copies and soft copies of the book for whānau. The publication is also designed to be used for research and as a historical resource for all New Zealanders. 

He Rau Mahara commemorates these unsung heroes and their stories, considered ordinary for the tens of thousands of New Zealander’s who served during The First World War. He Rau Mahara provides context to the War's events on the international stage and on the home front, so that we may begin to understand what our tīpuna went through in their darkest hours.

He Rau Mahara pays tribute to the approximately 270 Ngāi Tahu soldiers and sailors who served in the Great War, but it is much more than just a roll of honour.  It is a dedicated anthology of stories generously shared; through interviews with soldier's whānau, personal letters, diary extracts and newspaper articles to bring the lives (and deaths) of our tīpuna into our living memory.

...Ka maumahara tonu tātou ki a rātou...