Mahia Soldiers’ Memorial, Kaiuku Marae

Memorial plaque Memorial plaque

On 15 January 1922 an impressive memorial was unveiled at Whakarewa Point, near Te Māhia, on the eastern side of the Māhia Peninsula. This was a statue of a soldier in full uniform with his rifle reversed, carved from Coromandel granite and mounted on a stepped granite base. Beneath the statue was inscribed:

For God, King and Country. This memorial was erected to the honoured memory of Alexander Ormond, 2nd Lieut., 1st Manchester Regiment. And the following boys of Mahia who made the supreme sacrifice in the Great War 1914 to 1918. Hona Tangiora, Serg. Pioneer Battalion (Broughton Tangiora) Iere Tangiora, Private, Rewi Tangiora [ditto], James Brown [ditto], Rawhiri Wairau [ditto]Raniera Wairau [ditto]Wharekete Te Ngaio [ditto]. All members of one family and of the Rongomai-Wahine tribe. ‘Lest we forget’. ‘Faithful unto death.’

The same text was given in Māori on the opposite side.

The memorial was erected by Alexander’s parents, George and Maraea Ormond of Whangawehi Station, and other local residents.

In 1933 Kaiuku Marae was established on an ancient site known as Oku-ra-renga, near the neck of the peninsula. The memorial was later moved to the marae - it is not known exactly when, but presumably before 1958, when an Anzac Day dawn service was first held at the marae.

Alexander Ormond is also commemorated in the Ormond Chapel, Napier.

Sources: ‘Soldiers’ Memorial: Unveiling at Mahia’, Wairoa Evening Star, 23/1/1922, reproduced in Ormond Reunion: Mahia, 1993, Wairoa, 1993, see esp. pp. 37-40; Wairoa: a pictorial history, Wairoa, 2000, p. 45.

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