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Object: Poster, ’Taringa Whakarongo!’

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Title Poster, ’Taringa Whakarongo!’
Production N.Z. National Savings Committee (publisher), 1941, Wellington
Materials paper, printing ink
Classification posters
Technique offset lithography
Dimensions Overall: 738mm (Height) x 483mm (Width)
Credit line Purchased 2006
Registration number GH015341

This World War II fund-raising poster shows how Maori were appealed to in their own language. The National Savings Committee published many posters during the war to encourage saving and fund-raising. It targeted its campaigns to ensure all citizens were informed and persuaded.

The poster image was taken from an official photograph of a member of the Maori Battalion during tommy gun training at Maadi, Egypt, WWII, between 1940 and 41.

Rare poster

World War II posters in the Maori language are almost unknown. According to Maori Battalion historian Monty Soutar, this is because government messages were usually delivered orally on marae (meeting places).


'Stop! We appeal to you. The Maori Battalion calls to you to help. Food, uniforms, guns – ammunition – and other war weapons. These are needed by our soldiers – that they may prevail and not perish through lack – that the victory may be theirs and ours. Money alone can provide the weapons – without weapons we shall perish. Read the notice about National Savings. Go to the Post Office and lend your money. (Even a shilling week by week will help.)'

Maori War Effort Organisation

The Maori War Effort Organisation was formed in June 1942 to encourage maximum Maori participation in the war effort, and to do so following Maori custom and tradition. The organisation’s main function was to assist with recruiting, as Maori could not be conscripted. It also expanded into other areas, such as encouraging local food production and assisting in the direction of Maori labour.

Maori war effort

Maori were very active on the home front in fund-raising and production. Men and women came to work in the cities in essential industries under the government’s ‘manpowering’ scheme. Many women gathered and prepared seafood and other foods to send overseas. They knitted, sewed, and baked. By 1943, nearly one third of the Maori population was either in the armed services or working in essential industries.

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Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.