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Collins: Minister Offers Condolences To Whanau Of Maori Battalion President

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Judith Collins
Judith Collins

26 January 2009 - Veterans Affairs Minister Judith Collins today extended her condolences on behalf of the New Zealand veteran community to the whanau of Maori Battalion Association President Jim Takarangi who died yesterday in Wanganui aged 83.

"I was greatly saddened to learn of the death of this inspirational New Zealander. I would like to extend my deepest condolences to his whanau and friends," Ms Collins says.

"As a loyal soldier, a tireless worker for the community, a talented sportsman and a loved kaumatua, Mr Takarangi epitomised the spirit of the Maori Battalion.

"The battalion's legendary bravery and sacrifice in battle laid the foundations for the way of life we enjoy today. Their legendary battle cry, Ake ake kia kaha e, has inspired generations of New Zealanders.

"As their numbers waned over the years, Mr Takarangi took it upon himself to ensure the mana and the memory of the Maori Battalion was preserved for the future."

Mr Takarangi, who is from Ati Haunui-a-Paparangi Iwi, joined the Army in June 1944 when he enlisted into the Maori Battalion. He served with Delta Company and saw service in Egypt and Italy.

After the war he a member of the allied occupation force in Japan. During this time he was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal. He left the Army in September 1946.

"He will not be forgotten for his service to New Zealand, his work in preserving the precious history of the battalion, his kindness and his wisdom," Ms Collins says.

"His passing reminds us of the debt we all owe our veterans for their courage and their sacrifice."

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