Ōhinemutu war memorial

Ohinemutu New Zealand War memorial Ohinemutu New Zealand War memorial Ohinemutu New Zealand War memorial Ohinemutu New Zealand War memorial Ohinemutu New Zealand War memorial Ohinemutu New Zealand War memorial Ohinemutu New Zealand War memorial

The Muruika Urupa or Soldiers’ Cemetery stands on Muruika Point near St Faith’s Anglican Church on the edge of Lake Rotorua. The cemetery contains more than 70 tombs dedicated to ex-servicemen. Most are the burial places of members of 28 (Maori) Battalion who returned from the Second World War, but several plaques or tablets honour First World War servicemen and/or men who were killed overseas.

On Anzac Day 1953 a plain concrete war memorial obelisk was unveiled at the cemetery. This had been erected by the Te Arawa Māori Returned Services League in memory of Māori servicemen killed in both world wars. For some years it lacked an inscription, but today bears a tablet acknowledging the sacrifices made both by the soldiers who lie in Muruika and by those who did not return.

On 19 April 2011 plaques honouring service in the two World Wars, Korea, Malaya, Borneo and Vietnam were added to the obelisk. On Anzac Day 2014 a plaque dedicated to Private Albert Paul Anaru of the New Zealand Pioneer Battalion, who was killed in action in France on 7 June 1917, and whose body was never found, was also added (‘His final resting place is known only to God’).

In 2002 the cemetery precinct was enhanced and improved. It was rededicated to those who served in New Zealand’s military forces on Armistice Day, 11 November 2002. A sanctuary of remembrance and a flagpole were dedicated at the tip of the point on the same day.

See: ‘Obelisk unveiled’, NZ Herald, 27/5/1953, p. 10; ‘Plaques ready just in time for Anzac’, Rotorua Daily Post, 20/4/2011; ‘Our People: Pita Anaru’, Rotorua Daily Post, 31/5/2014.

Community contributions

No comments have been posted about Ōhinemutu war memorial

What do you know?