16/214 Private Hahi Ngamuka – NZ Maori Contingent

Te Hahi Ngamuka Kawahau[i] (Kawharu) was born 0n 15th February 1892 in the Croisilles, French Pass, Marlborough Sounds[ii].

There was movement between the Marlborough Sounds and Porirua areas and Hahi Ngamuka was registered at Porirua School in 1898.[iii]

On 20th October 1914 Hahi Ngamuka enlisted in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) his enlistment papers
note that he was a labourer working on Mr Role’s farm at Spring Creek, Blenheim and he listed as next of kin, his sister
Kata (Katu) Ngamuka, Porirua. Hahi indicated that he was serving, compulsory military training, with the 12th Nelson Regiment.

16/214 Private Hahi Ngamuka entered camp as a member of the 1st New Zealand Maori Contingent (NZMC) and
following basic training the contingent sailed for Egypt on 13th February 1915 on board the SS Warrimoo.
(Insert photo of Warrimoo either as a background or text item)
On arrival in Egypt the NZMC was allocated to on-going training and garrison duty freeing up Pakeha troops for combat roles.[iv] The attitude at this time was ‘Imperial policy initially opposed the idea of native peoples fighting in a war among Europeans.’ As the casualties at Gallipoli mounted and there was a growing requirement for reinforcements the NZMC were released for combat duties.

Private Ngamuka sailed for the Dardanelles on 30th June 1915 at ANZAC Cove the NZMC joined with the
NZ Mounted Rifles who were fighting as infantry on the peninsula.

In August 1915 the NZMC and NZMR were involved in the
assault on Chunuk Bair, initially taken by the Wellington
Regiment on 8th August 1915 the area was later lost.
The NZMC lost 17 men killed and 89 wounded in the
battle with Private Ngamuka one of the wounded on
8th August 1915.

NZ Maori Contingent 6th August 1915 prior
to the assault at Sair Bair

Suffering a wound to his left eye Private Ngamuka  was
evacuated to the No 2 Australian Stationary Hospital on
Murdos where he remained in a serious condition, he
was sent on 24th September 1915 by Hospital ship
‘Ansonia’ to Malta. Private Ngamuka remained in Malta
for two weeks and then was shipped to England on the
Hospital Ship ‘Hunslet’ arriving at the Military Hospital,
Church Lane, Tooting where he remained for treatment
until 7th March 1916. Private Ngamuka was then sent to the NZ Convalescent Depot, Hornchurch. It was while Private Ngamuka was at Hornchurch that he was fitted with his artificial eye.

Private Ngamuka was assessed at Hornchurch and because of his injury was considered not suitable for on-going
military service to be repatriated to New Zealand, leaving England on 14th July 1916 on the SS Arawa.

Private Ngamuka arrived back in New Zealand on 6th September 1916 and was granted leave prior to being discharged
on 2nd October 1916 as ‘no longer physically fit for war service on account of wounds received in action[v].

Hahi Ngamuka married Parehauraki Pauline Elkington in 1917 and the couple had two children[vi]  Hahi signed for his medals in 1924 when he was living in Whareatea Bay, D’Urville Island, French Pass.

Te Hahi Ngamuka Kawahau died on D’Urville Island on 14th July 1960.[vii]

H (Hahi) Ngamuka is remembered on the Porirua School Roll of Honour - these also served. 

Paperspast Online
Maori in the NZEF: NZ History Online
Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files
Porirua School Jubilee 1873 - 1948 

HMNZT Warimoo 14th February 1915: Alexander Turnbull Library
NZMC form up for assault on Sari Bari: WW100.govt.nz

[i]    Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 16/214 Private Hahi Ngamuka
[ii]   Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 16/214 Private Hahi Ngamuka
[iii]  Porirua School Jubilee 
[iv]  Maoris in the NZEF
[v]  Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 16/214 Private Hahi Ngamuka
[vi] Elkington-Brown website: Geni Genealogy
[vii] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 16/214 Private Hahi Ngamuka  

HMNZT Warrimoo at Wellington 14th February 1915