New Zealand Mānuka Group is proud to help sponsor a group of 19 secondary school students from Te Kura Mana Māori o Whangaparāoa, Cape Runaway, East Cape, are heading off on the trip of a lifetime to retrace the footsteps of their ancestors who fought in both B & C Company of the 28th Maori Battalion.
Over two years of fundraising, planning and studying is finally coming to fruition for 19 secondary school students, three teachers and six parents who will be following the footsteps of their tipuna (“ancestors”), to pay their respect to those who fought in Greece and Crete.
“This trip will be a real eye-opener for some of our students as for a few this will be their first time on a big plane,” says tour organiser and principal of Te Kura Mana Maori o Whangaparaoa, Tuihana Pook.
The students have been researching the region, the climate, the people, their culture as well as the war cemeteries in both Greece and Crete.
Tuihana explains further, “As mokopuna (“children”) of Te Whanau-ā- Apanui, our trip will give us the opportunity to see and hear about how soldiers, from our iwi as well as iwi throughout New Zealand, dedicated their lives in both the Battle of Greece and the Battle of Crete so we would have the freedom we have today.”
New Zealand Mānuka Group is just one of the many sponsors who have contributed to this important journey and learning experience for our children. Potikirua Incorporation, Te Piki 10, Whangaparaoa 1B2B10, Iwiroa 7 & 9, Pauanui, Tawaroa, Whakaari Beekeepers Ltd, Te Puni Kokiri, Whangaparaoa 2L, Oruati 2B, Te Kaha 2B, Raekahu, Maungaroa 3B, are some of the Land Trusts and Incorporations to whom the parents and students are most grateful.
The Board of Trustees of Te Kura Mana Māori o Whangaparāoa and the students themselves have also made significant contributions towards this trip-of-a-lifetime.
“We fly out on 27th September and will have a one night stopover in Bangkok then continue our journey via Dubai before reaching our final destination in Athens, Greece,” says Tuihana. “We return via Dubai and arrive in Auckland on Oct 11th.”
Everyone here at New Zealand Mānuka Group wish them safe travels and will share photos and updates with you on our social media and website soon.