Rūātoki school memorial

Rūātoki Native School was opened in 1896. It was renamed Rūātoki Māori District High School in 1947. In 1978 it became New Zealand’s first officially bilingual school, and is now known as Te Wharekura o Rūātoki. The school’s original Second World War memorial was a carved flagpole erected in the grounds in front of the main school building. Four granite tablets were set into the concrete base inscribed with the names of Tūhoe men who had served in 28th Maori Battalion during the war: 14 men who had been killed in action or died of illness and 69 returned soldiers.

The dedication stone reads: He tohu aroha tenei na nga hapu o Tuhoe ki to ratou ope taua i haere ki te pakanga / 1939 -1945 28th Maori Btn.

In recent years (possibly when much of the school was rebuilt after a fire in 2009) the tablets were set around a water feature within the school’s central courtyard.

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