The 28th Māori Battalion website (www.28maoribattalion.org.nz) which keeps alive the legacy of the 3600 soldiers of the Battalion was announced as a finalist in the Crown - Māori relationships category at the IPANZ Gen-I Public Sector Excellence Awards last night.
The totally bilingual site, which has developed a community of descendants who honour their tupuna through contributions of memories, images and videos, was named a finalist for a number of reasons including the strong government agency and Māori organisation relationships behind the website.
The site was developed on behalf of the 28th Māori Battalion Association by Manatū Taonga/Ministry for Culture and Heritage in partnership with Te Puni Kokiri.
“The site has become a memorial site through the contributions of the community which has gathered around the 3600 men of the 28th Māori Battalion,” said Bronwyn Dalley, Heritage Services Branch Manager at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.
“There’s a page for each of the 3600 men where people can contribute memories or upload images or videos. Here they share memories of tupuna, seek and provide information to each other, and post images. Many of the contributions are deeply moving.”
The site includes resources for students of New Zealand history, linking with specific topics in the school history curriculum. It features an historical overview of the Battalion at war, an interactive map, photographs, audio files (oral history, radio recordings and waiata) and videos.
The project came about from a request from the 28 Māori Battalion for a website that would ensure people could learn about the role of the Battalion in New Zealand history. The site went live in mid 2009 and is in constant development with new material being added, both by the project team and the wider community. Currently there is a search to find a photo for each of the 3600 Battalion soldiers.
Updated on 23rd July 2015