27 Oct 2011

Tiny Solomons community remembers NZ sacrifice

9:46 pm on 27 October 2011

The tiny community on Mono in Solomon Islands has been commemorating a landmark battle of World War II.

The fight to take the island from the Japanese, which left nearly 200 New Zealand soldiers dead and wounded, is still remembered annually by the locals.

This year the New Zealand naval vessel HMNZS Resolution is there for commemorations with the 1500-strong community.

Lieutenant-Commander Matt Wray says the battle was significant and has bound the two countries together.

"Ever since that day, the Mono Islanders have celebrated 27th October as New Zealand Day, and it's actually their biggest celebration all year - larger than Christmas."