25 Apr 2013

Pacific soldiers honoured in ANZAC commemorations

5:23 am on 25 April 2013

In New Zealand, soldiers from the Pacific islands are being honoured in ANZAC commemorations at the Auckland War Memorial Museum today.

More than 450 mostly Niueans and Cook Islanders served with the Maori Pioneer Battalion in the First World War.

The museum's senior outreach programmer, Ole Maiava, says the contribution of Pacific soldiers in both the first and second world wars is largely unknown, even by Pacific people.

He says the museum is inviting Pacific families to use its extensive military records to find out about relatives who fought overseas.

"What we like would like is people to actually come up and look and add to things we don't know here in the museum. And maybe the museum has some information that they don't know, and so we are really keen to get that interaction."

Ole Maiava says there's also a slideshow of Pacific soldiers at war, talks by historians, a Tongan brass band and excerpts from the play Goodbye My Feleni, about four Pacific soldiers in the Maori Battalion.