This museum bears witness to the impact that Article 3 of the Treaty of Waitangi has had on New Zealand’s development as a nation, in particular through the sacrifice made by Māori serving their country during times of war.
This immersive and interactive museum is divided into three galleries and incorporates state-of-the-art technology to help bring its stories to life.
The museum’s main exhibition, Te Utu o Te Kirirarunga: The Price of Citizenship, acknowledges the contribution of Māori to their country’s involvement in many theatres of war since 1840. It includes sections on the New Zealand Wars and the Anglo-South African War, with a strong focus on the Pioneer Battalion of World War I and the 28 (Māori) Battalion of World War II.
The second gallery is dedicated to the 28 (Māori) Battalion’s A Company, whose members hailed from Te Tai Tokerau (Northland). It tells the personal stories of the soldiers and their families. A large changeable display case is a key feature of the gallery that includes the personal effects and taonga of A Company soldiers, kindly lent by whānau.
The third gallery acts as a contemplative Whare Maumahara (Memorial Gallery) for visitors, descendants and whānau. An impressive large-scale wooden artform (Garland of Love) made up of thousands of pieces of beech from the South Island and swamp kauri from the Far North fills the centre of the room. This sculpture is flanked by images of A Company men and thousands of names inscribed on the walls of those Māori service personnel who served in Te Hokowhitu-a-Tū (Māori Pioneer Battalion) and the 28 (Māori) Battalion from both World Wars.
Te Rau Aroha Museum of The Price of Citizenship fosters the understanding that the struggle by Māori for equality as citizens in their own country has come at a high cost, with effects that are felt in many communities today. The museum allows all visitors to reflect on the ‘price of citizenship’ in their own lives and circumstances.