Government mourns the passing of Epineha RatapuEducation
E Epineha. Ka tangi te iwi, ki a koe e ngaro nei i te kitenga kanohi. Kua mokemoke to whānau, to iwi, te motu whanui.
Haere ki o matua, tipuna. Haere ki te okiokinga tuturu mo te tangata. Haere i runga i te aroha o ngā reanga kei muri i a koe.
Haere ki te Po! Haere ki te Po!
Associate Education Minister and Chair of the Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori Battalion) Memorial Scholarship Fund Board, Kelvin Davis, joins those mourning the passing of veteran Epineha Ratapu.
“I acknowledge the bravery, service and legacy of the 28th Māori Battalion. Epineha epitomised the values of the Battalion and continued throughout his life to work in service to his people and community,” Kelvin Davis said.
“In spite of his age, Epineha and his whānau generously continued to support the work of the Scholarship Fund Board and made the annual trip to Parliament to support the scholarship presentation ceremonies.
“The significance of the presence of the veterans at the event was not lost on the scholarship recipients who, as part of the scholarship application, commit to enacting the leadership values demonstrated by the 28th Māori Battalion for the benefit of their communities and people through their pursuit of higher education excellence.
“Epineha will be remembered and sorely missed by the Board members, the education whānau and generations of Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori Battalion) Scholarship recipients,” Kelvin Davis said.
In June 1943, Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and Pākehā from the East Coast met to consider how to commemorate the bravery of Ngārimu, and the other members of the 28th Battalion, whose lives had been lost in World War II. It was decided to establish a fund to support Māori education.
The Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Scholarship Fund Board was established for the purposes of administering funds that promoted Māori education. The scholarships support Māori excellence at tertiary level with academic merit being a high priority in the selection.