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New Zealand Pioneer Battalion Badge, there were two makers, JR Gaunt prior to sometime in 1917 and then Firmin until the early post war period.

This example is that made by Gaunt with a good makers mark on the reverse and the correct lug fittings, the fakes are on a slider. I also have a collar in the post to me again made by Gaunt.

In 1914 Two Maori Companies were formed, A Company from North Auckland, West Coast North Island and South Island; B Company from the Centre and East Coast of the North Island. They left New Zealand called the Maori Contingent, though their formal name was the New Zealand Native Contingent, in February 1915 and took part in the Gallipoli Campaign from July 1915.

After Gallipoli the Contingent was split up for a brief period with the men being posted to Territorial units but this was found to be unacceptable and the Unit was reformed as the New Zealand Pioneer Battalion on 20 February 1916 and served in France. Initially the New Zealand Pioneer Battalion had two Maori Companies but from September 1917 became an all-Maori unit and was renamed as the New Zealand (Maori) Pioneer Battalion. The battalion was finally disbanded in March 1919.

These changes were reflected in the regimental badges, and the example shown here is the New Zealand Pioneer Battalion badge as worn from February 1916 to September 1917. The original badge and the final badge both incorporated the motto Te Hoko Whitu a Tu (The twice seventy (140) warriors of Tumatauenga, God of War).

The New Zealand (Maori) Pioneer Battalion or Native Contingent and Pioneer Battalion was a battalion of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force that served during World War I. The battalion was first raised in 1915 and served at Gallipoli and the Western Front and largely served as pioneers.[1] "Of these by the end of the war, 2227 Maori and 458 Pacific Islanders had served in what became known as the Maori Pioneer Battalion. Of these, 336 died on active service and 734 were wounded. Other Maori enlisted (and died) in other battalions as well."


And the collar, sellers pics until it arrives.

Edited by Jerry B

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I must say, the tattoed tongue-out face at the top of the badge is unusual even by the standards of British Imperial badges! Very interesting!

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The collar arrived to join its brother. :)

As regards the Haka, I was an extra in a TV drama and during the filming they had a number of the 70's all blacks players on set and they performed an inpromtu Haka off camera and they still did it with feeling.


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