A First World War commemorative programmme 'Tau Tupua: The Spirits' honours the 150 Nieuean men who fought in the Maori Contingent during the First World War. 25 July-30 August 2014.
"Few people know of the huge sacrifices made by the tiny nation of Niue in World War I.
Around 150 Niuean men joined New Zealand’s Maori contingent to serve in Egypt and France in 1915.
Otara’s Fresh Gallery exhibition Tau Tupua: The Spirits will highlight the contributions of Niue to the New Zealand war effort.
The exhibition draws on the talents of three creative people: filmmaker Robert George, artist Toa Taihia and writer, producer and director Vela Manusaute.
Manusaute was born and lived in Niue before his family moved to New Zealand. His plays include Taro King, The Factory and My name is …. Pilitome.
The latest, The Pioneer Battalion features in Fresh Gallery’s exhibition.
‘‘Taking 150 young men from a population of about 4000 was a huge force from a small population,’’ Manusaute says.
‘‘They lacked a common language to communicate with their battalion comrades, fell prey to common diseases, tried to digest unfamiliar food, saw their people getting sick.’’"
(Source: Manukau Courier, 1 May 2014)