This rather interesting memorial located in one corner of the Government Gardens
in Rotorua caught my eye recently. The original idea for this came from the Ohinemutu Native Patriotic Assocation in 1919. Later the Te Arawa Trust Board took over the project and still cares for the memorial today. The board hired sculptor William Henry Feldon to design it which he did alongside local iwi (tribes). He then created the memrial with architect Edward La Trobe Hill overseeing the project. The statue of Rangitihi, at the bottom is a replication of the original which was vandalised in 1936 created by Rakei King in 2018.
King George stands on the pedestal, below him is the star Rehua which is said to have guided the Arawa Waka (canoe) to New Zealand.
Under this section are a tier of panels which depict: King Edward VII, Queen Victoria, King George V, a white marble cross, a navy seaman, a red cross nurse holding a floral wreath, an army soldier in a mirrored stance to the seaman.
Under another tier is a section of panels depicting: Maori weapons, local missionary Reverend Thomas Chapman, governor Hobson signing the Treaty of Waitangi under the watchful gaze of Ngati Whakaue chief Tanira Te Tupara, the God Puhaorangi looking down from the heavens at the beautiful maiden Kuraimmonoa.
Another panel shows the Maori Regimental Badge which has 2 Maori weapons crossed under a crown, a further 2 panels which list the names of those men from Te Arawa who died during the war. The figure standing on the stone block on the steps is the Te Arawa chief Rangatihi, on the front stone block is an image of the Te Arawa waka (canoe) and lastly the Krupps field gun is thought to have been captured by the Maori Pioneer Battalion at Le Quesnoy, northern France.
Phew so that is alot of information!
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