Songs of the New Zealand 28 (Māori) Battalion

Aka aka kia kaha e

Songs of the New Zealand 28 (Māori) Battalion

When the soldiers of the Māori Battalion sailed for the Second World War, they took with them songs that embodied the love and prayers of those at home. There were hymns, haka, and popular action songs, together with the rousing Māori Battalion march to victory!

In 2006, as part of the Treasures in Sound / He Puiaki Puoru project, the National Library and Atoll Ltd released a two-CD set, Ake, ake, kia kaha e! Songs of the New Zealand 28 (Māori) Battalion.

The CD features spoken messages, situation reports, concert medleys aimed at tribal areas from which the men were drawn, and a song of remembrance by Pacific Islands members.

The recordings were taken in Egypt, North Africa, and Southern Italy by the Middle East recording unit of New Zealand’s National Broadcasting Service. They were preserved for posterity in the Radio New Zealand Sound Archives / Ngā Taonga Kōrero.

Treasures in Sound / He Puiaki Puoru is a collaborative project between Atoll Ltd, Kiwi Pacific Records International, and the National Library, who are working together to reissue rare and classic recordings by New Zealand artists. The project is part of the Library’s commitment to making New Zealand's cultural heritage publicly accessible.

Return of the 28 (Māori) Battalion

You can see photographs recording the return of the Māori Battalion to New Zealand in January 1946 on our Flickr page

Māori Battalion photos – National Library on Flickr

Full list of Treasures in Sound / He Puiaki Puoru titles

  • 'The Tahiwis' – historic 1930 recordings by Te Whānau Tahiwi
  • 'Alda in Opera and Song' – historic recordings 1910-1928
  • Madam Butterfly – the historic 1924 recording
  • Oscar Natzka – the definitive collection (two volumes)
  • The 1953 National Band of New Zealand
  • Ko Ngati Poneke Hoki Matou – Ngati Poneke Young Māori Club

The Treasures in Sound / He Puiaki Puoru CDs can be bought on the Atoll website

Treasures in Sound / He Puiaki Puoru CDs – Atoll website

Permission of the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa must be obtained before any reuse of this image.